Philly and Training

These photos are from the 50th anniversary celebration of Peace Corps (started in 1961 by JFK right?) This is where us CHED 11's formally swore in in front of the ambassador and the king. There was a lot of festivities including boys and girls traditional dancing and Peace Corps Volunteers singing "American Pie."  There may be more photos available from this event from our fellow PCVs' blog here:
This concludes all of the photos from Philly and training, please go to "The Real Thing" page to check out more current photos - I believe I will also try to post one each time when I do a new blog post.

The formatting for these is acting funny - but directly above, we're all moving from training village to our sites! Immediately below is one roadblock that we faced on our way, these oxen were tangled and we had to wait for them before we could drive on. The one below that show the couterpart and supervisor workshop that we had, so you see some of us PCVs with the people we are going to be working with. Below that, melded with the one beneath it is what we saw out our window our first workday at our site - not so different than home!

The whole village and our teachers got dressed in their best Seshoeshoe and came to watch us swear in. Then we had the big feast!

We swore in as REAL Peace Corps Volunteers in our village! We swore to defend our constitution against all enemies. (Our host mother took this picture.)
Two girls from the village practicing their hula hoop skills

One of our CHED group teaching a boy how to hula hoop on a Peace Corps fun day
Mme Malebohang and Carol wearing dresses with the traditional Seshoeshoe fabric

Shane with our host mother (mme) and sister (aussi): Lebohang on Shane's right and MaLebohang on the left 

Shane and Carol with our host family brother (abuti) Thabo
This woman is cleaning the mohair and getting ready to spin it on the spinning wheel shown, I have a short video clip of her spinning but it is too big to upload from here.

At this craft center they clean, spin, dye and weave and sell the mohair. Here, it is drying after it has been dyed

This is where the magic happens, they weave the beautiful fiber into scarves, rugs and tapestries which are sold on the compound. (You can see my scarf on the photo from Thaba Bosiu)
Visiting the Gro Foundation, they showed us and gave us an opportunity to make those cool paper beads (above, she is cutting the paper into the correct shape for rolling)

Volunteers, happy to make such beautiful beads

You can see from this example, why we like to buy our paper bead necklaces rather than make them ourselves!
Hanging out at Tsehlanyane National Park - this is when we (finally!) found out our site placements. People were very happy that day.

Maybe we're dorky, but we love to be in beautiful places together!
Baylor Clinic in Maseru, a first class facility serving kids with HIV/AIDS at no cost to them. It is a partnership between a few groups including Baylor University in Texas.

We forgot we were in Lesotho! They had flush toilets and they even provided the TP!
 Lesotho Heritage Site - Thaba Bosiu (Night Mountain)

The view from the top! If you can see the pointy mountain over Carol's right shoulder, that is the mountain that inspired the shape of the traditional Basotho hat.

We've heard that there is a calender that features toilets in beautiful settings, we think Lesotho has many candidates - this being one of them. It is at the top of Thaba Bosiu. 

Climbing to the top of the mountain, you had to leave a stone on the pile at the top to show that you come in Peace.

The grave of King Moshoeshoe I, he was the founder of the Basotho nation. We got to hear a lot of interesting things about him. Thaba Bosiu is his mountain (really a plateau/butte thing), he founded the nation here because it was a good place to defend from attackers.

Several styles of traditional village huts set up as demonstrations at the Thaba Bosiu center.

The tools traditionally used to grind maize - that would be a long day!
Making a keyhole garden (a common practice in Lesotho) with our group in training.

Visiting an orphanage in Mafetang

Doing the Macarena at another orphanage
Snowy day in the Village - Circa: July 2011

 These are from hiking near our training villages -

Ok, so you really have to look at this soil profile! It is a good one, and it is a little glimpse into the erosion problems here.

These are from my(Carol's) visit to another volunteer who lives near Sethlabathebe National Park
Classic Lesotho Scene with "Bo-Ntate" (men) riding their Basotho horses

View from the bus, one of the best in the country!

Youth group playing pictionary, I tried to capture the fun, the energy and exitement with this photo, but I still don't think I did it justice 

Visiting the Snake Park. Now I know what a Puff Adder and Cobra look like!

These photos are somewhat mixed up, sorry about that. They are from when we left Philly and in to training, there are more to come!
The guest bathroom

Our garden in training, these are rice bags sewn together as protection from the cold - unfortunately due to the free range chickens, our gardens didn't fare so well anyway

Mountain bikes of Lesotho

We were challenged to break these, they withstood the test...

Learning to teach "life skills" in a fun way

4th of July celebration with face painting BBQ and soccer game

Shane played soccer (football) for the first time

Our backyard from training, our abuti (brother) is standing in the door of the cooking shack

But it is a really nice house, there is even a satellite dish on the other side - our mme (mother) is the principle at a local primary school

Celebrating my birthday at this funky little bars called "the caves" there were a lot of little rooms with stone walls, our host family got us delicious SA wine!

Shane with our host father - pretty handsome guys!

Here it is, washing clothes!

This was not in our vows (yes, those are Shane's)
We had more clothes than would fit on the line - so, that is what barbed wire fencing is for.

Begining the adventure!
New York City! On the way to JFK

About to get on the huge plane to fly across the Atlantic

After 15 hours on the airplane Shane decided to pull the yoga "legs up the wall" if you look carefully you can see he's even wearing his airplane socks - edema anyone?

In SA at Jo'berg

It's Lesotho! From the plane...

Ready with the passports

Peace Corps came to pick us all up...

And we got to have a dance party with the village!

The Delaware River at Penns Landing

Grandma Carol recommended eating at the Old Original Bookbinders Restaurant - it was closed, but we stopped by anyway
Shane was wondering why it was closed...

Benjamin Franklin's grave site in Christchurch cemetary

We hope you all know what this is! Happy Memorial Day from Shane and Carol!

Some dressed-up guys on the steps of a statue in the nice park

Independence Hall

We ended up eating at an Old School place (where the founding fathers aparently celebrated the first Independence Day) called The City Tavern - instead of Bookbinders. It was very good, they used some recipes from the founding fathers - including some great sweet potato and pecan biscuits- and they had seafood!

And the servers were all dressed up too!