Irenasjourney Blog


Here bloggy bloggy…
September 14, 2009, 12:18 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I hope you all are ready for this one…its gonna be a douzy! So, it’s been a fantastic 6 weeks at site. And I have some more pics to post J. Since the last time, let’s see, I’ve had an extremely successful meeting with my weavers, spent time with friends, prepared my garden for planting, helped on a HIV/Aids Speak Aloud, watched a high school beauty contest, and met with a whole lot of people in my area.
From the top: the weavers are currently getting ready for a pretty large craft fair/ festival. There will be handicrafts from several South African countries and in the past years, this event has proven to be lucrative. I am really excited to see all the different crafts and to see how we do. This is a pretty large festival called Morija Fest and it’s in Morija. The fair is at the end of the month so I’ll keep you’ll updated on that. Also, the other volunteer that works with the weavers, Andre and I spoke with the owner of a local internet shop and he allowed to us hang a few weavings in the café. As an internet café it attracts tourists. Perhaps someone coming in will be interested in buying a weaving or will be interested to see more. Andre and I are also making plans to visit all the hotels/ inns/ guesthouses in Lesotho. We are trying to go everywhere tourists go since tourists make up our market.
A couple of weeks ago I went to visit my girl Palesa in Mafeteng. She had several people over as we were celebrating Jessica’s b-day. It was a great time and we gorged on some homemade tacos- YUM! Mafeteng is out of this world…and so is Palesa’s house. Mafeteng is like TY times 10. It’s so intense; there is so much going on and so many people…and it’s huge just like her house. She has a hallway! And electricity, running water, a separate bathroom and bedroom and living room!! It’s like a mansion.
Besides that, I’ve spent good times with Andre and he had a few other volunteers over so we had a great time. We went to eat at the great pork plate place and walked to a fantastic cliff that offered amazing scenery. We also bough some wood…which will come at the end of this blog.
As far as the garden goes…that was hard work, lets be honest, and I haven’t even planted anything yet. I just mixed some cow dung into my dirt to add some nutrients to it. The dirt here is so bad…its almost sandy. It has been so abused over the years…though that’s a whole nother blog. I laid some bricks and called it a day- and it took all day. I am so excited to get planting and have a great variety of fresh vegetables. There is no variety offered here . So, keep your fingers crossed and I’ll keep you posted on this as well.
Now, the Speak Aloud was held at St. Agnes High School which is right close to my house. We have a volunteer there, Karen, and she is amazing. She was in the PC Romania a view years back. Anyway, this was a PC event sponsored by PEPFAR I believe. We had about 30 youth and we had a grouped called OYAP facilitate it. We also have a volunteer from my group, Brice, working with OYAP in TY. So as you can see, several PCVs got together to put this thing on. Basically OYAP is a group that works with youth/ teaches them about many different things, like HIV/Aids through activities. As this was a PEPFAR event, we talked about just that, HIV/Aids and we also offered free testing, free pizza and snacks too. All in all it turned out to be quite a success. The youth had a great time and learned a lot about this epidemic that is sweeping their little country.
Conveniently, on the same day, also at St. Agnes, the school held a sports day and beauty contest. Sports day was great…the beauty contest was so wrong on so many levels. St. Agnes competed against King Moshoeshoe II High School in basketball, volleyball, and Tae Kwon Do. A married couple of PCVs in my group, Ed and Carol, work at King Moshoeshoe and Carol is a black belt in TKD so she was there too.
The beauty contest was held in the assembly hall and for such a conservative place (St. Agnes is an Anglican private school) showcased young girls in bikinis and well their bras! WTF! I’m talking 13 year old girls parading around in their bra, some painted on jeans and heels in front of kids ages 10 and up and adults. Grown men, teachers, faculty. And OMG, the crowed was going absolutely wild. I was in shock, but enjoyed the high energy of the crowd. They also did some dancing and lip singing. They did model some dresses and what not, but nevertheless, I was still blown away.
That’s pretty much it, but I still want to walk you through my experiences buying a piece of wood. So…I walk into a lumber place called Lioli Lumber (deeodee). Side note: Seoli is a person who lives in TY; Lioli are the people who live in TY. Anyway, I walk in to the ‘store’ and tell the man (Man # 1) I need a piece of wood 25” by 70”. He tells me to go into the office and ask the man in there…so I do. The man in the ‘office’ (man # 2) tells me I need to go speak with man # 1 about what I want. So man # 2 and I go back to man # 1 and he tells us to go look at the wood they have available. Man # 2 and I go and I find the wood that I want- some type of particle board or something. So at this time man #1 joins us and I ask them to cut this piece to size. They tell me they don’t cut wood here?!?!  Even though I am looking at wood that has been cut. So I find this pile of already cut wood and start looking through it. Believe it or not, I found a piece almost exactly the size I needed so I tell man # 2 I will take this. He tells me to pay man # 1. I go and show him (man # 1) the piece that I want and he tells me the manager is out and he doesn’t know the price without asking her. What the heck?! This is business in Lesotho. So…he throws a price out there and tells me I can come back and get the change in case he has overcharged me, in the mean time he will check with the manager. LOL after 45 minutes I got my piece of wood.
As promised, here are some pics. Love ya!!

Walking up into my yard

Walking up into my yard

Closer view of my home

Closer view of my home

My house is the door and the window...ends where the concrete seam is.  And that's my garden to be in the front

My house is the door and the window...ends where the concrete seam is. And that's my garden to be in the front

My house, from the front door

My house, from the front door

To the right...

To the right...

...and to the right again.  we are now back at the door

...and to the right again. we are now back at the door

Turning around now, here is a view from my front door

Turning around now, here is a view from my front door

Another view from the front door, a bit to the left

Another view from the front door, a bit to the left

My M'e's wonderful garden

My M'e's wonderful garden

Our chicken coup and to the far right is where our milking cows live

Our chicken coup and to the far right is where our milking cows live

Behind the chickens

Behind the chickens

One of our milking cows- isnt she pretty

One of our milking cows- isnt she pretty

My beautiful latrine- the one on the right.  Someday I'll show you the inside...its real nice

My beautiful latrine- the one on the right. Someday I'll show you the inside...its real nice

 

Weavings we hung up at the internet cafe

Weavings we hung up at the internet cafe

 

Best place in town for a plate o' pork...look at the people in the back

Best place in town for a plate o' pork...look at the people in the back

Hmm...thats an interesting log

Hmm...thats an interesting log

Friends on the cliff- lovin life!

Friends on the cliff- lovin life!

 

View from the cliff- Lithabaneng

View from the cliff- Lithabaneng

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7 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hey so glad to see you doing well! Your bed there is bigger than you bed at our house! the scenery is great! So how much do you and your weaving crew charge for those ones you put up in the internet cafe? they are very nice.

Comment by Jim and Agata

Glad that you are doing so good and having so much fun. Think big on the weaves and put them on the internet if possible, they are nice and I would buy one. We miss you and love you and can’t wait until you get to meet the new edition to the family, Leila. Love you from all of us!!!

Comment by Dana, Maja, Sebastian, & Leila

We are glad things are going good Irena! Enjoy your once in a life time experience! We miss you! Love you!!!

Leila, Sebastian, Maja & Dana

Comment by Dana, Maja, Sebastian, & Leila

Holy Cow! It is so good to hear all of your stories. What a journey you have had so far. Its so beautiful there. The weavings are awesome and I want the cow! I think of you every day! Love you…

Comment by Lisa Gillum

Irena!!!! Your dad told me you were on here…I am so amazed by everything I have read and your beautiful pictures!! Truly blown away—this is incredible work you are doing & what an amazing adventure!! It looks like you are enjoying yourself and learning so much about other cultures and people–what a remarkable experience!!! I’m so happy for you!!

Comment by Jennifer Bonnette-Seymour

It looks awfully chilly in Africa for September, go figure. Sounds like you are having a great time. Lauryn and Kristyn miss you and say hi.

Comment by Reggie Smith

WOW!! The scenery is absolutely amazing there! Great pictures! I want to buy one of those hanging weaves, too. Where’s the website? Miss you!!

Comment by Jennifer




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