Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Scenic Latrine

Weaver birds building their nests

Dear Lovely Friends and Family,

We hope you are enjoying the best of the Thanksgiving holiday! We are thinking of all of you, but especially my mom and grandma who we usually spend T-day with. We miss both them and their amazing cooking! It is full on summer here now, 85 degrees when I checked this morning, sporadic thunderstorms and our garden is enjoying both water and heat! Hopefully by December we will be eating fresh tomatoes! For now, we have been able to buy loads of shelled fresh green peas off the street for about $.75 for a generous cup sized serving!

Otherwise, things have been going well for both of us - but busy! Between projects, and planning for the future (and cooking!) we've only been having a little bit of time to read our books Body by Science for Shane and One Hundred Years of Solitude for me. We've also been enjoying the company of a few of our fellow volunteers and will look forward to sharing a small Thanksgiving dinner with another PCV couple on Saturday.

I've got some photos to share with you from the field work that I've been doing lately but I am saving some for when I talk about soil erosion in Lesotho in another post or two. One of the most notable trips was crossing the Orange River to take growth measurements of the preschoolers who are getting their lunches provided by WFP - since it has been raining, the water is high enough that we couldn't take the car across like we did last time. Here is me and some of my collegues crossing in the boat....



Crossing the river with my collegues and my ridiculous PC issued life jacket - check out the oars!

Other folks crossing the river, the alternative way... I wish the tractor were green though:-)

Once we got over there, we didn't have the car of course, so we walked from school to school and to the hospital for monitoring there as well - I am estimating it was more than 5 miles. It was a lovely day, sunny and hot. We also got to taste the first peaches of the season while we were there! We got back into town, just in time for me to run right into yoga and teach the class - after which, we had the pleasure of going to dinner with some of Baylor clinic's American staff who were visiting from Maseru! It was a big day...

Our transport options were pretty slim once across

Adorable preschooler!

Another adorable preschooler, with tribal scarring and a cute sweater


The next day (as you can see by my sun burn!) we had Nutrition Corner, where we had discussion groups and did a cooking demonstration of bean soup with spinach and American-style dumplings, which all of the Bo 'M'e and their children really enjoyed. The women cooked everything but the dumplings which I demonstrated how to make and they were fascinated by!


Cooking bean soup with American dumplings at Nutrition Corner

This woman is 80 and is raising her daughter's child who is one and a half
Those were the most notable events from last week for me. Yoga has been going really well, last week we even snuck in a Saturday class! I've also been working with the beekeeping project on their business plan still, we worked on their cash flow yesterday and they were so excited not only to learn about that but costing and pricing as well as how to use Microsoft Excel to do calculations using formulas! The woman at the bakery and I are currently makig business cards for her and learning how to use the internet - which she loves... especially Pinterest! 'M'e Magdelena and I are trying to move the water tank project ahead despite the somewhat shoddy labor contractor that we were working with previously - but it is really, really close to being finished. Also, her kittens are big now and adorable. At the library on Saturday we were reading a section of a book which talked about Morse Code - which the kids hadn't really even heard of a code before let alone Morse Code, so we had fun looking it up in the encyclopedia and writing their names in Morse Code and even writing messages in a code they made up. I am really looking forward to see how the market next Friday goes. We've been working for almost two months to put this together similar to an American Farmer's Market... hopefully there will be a big turn-out for the debut!

Shane has been persevering in trying to register their martial arts academy as an association, still trying to get the martial arts mats from Jo'berg to here and working with Ntate Nkhooa to plan all of the projects that are happening at Snake Park. He is also still trying to body build and has been having several requests from other men at the gym for him to help them bulk up!

Shane took this photo of our cat perched on our water bucket to stare out the window...

 
I'll sign off now, so this posts before I lose power to the thunderstorm! We both hope you are all doing really well and best wishes from Lesotho!

Hugs,

Carol and Shane

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