Monday, January 16, 2006

August 26th

Hey, Yeah! I do have a new account in Lesotho. I purchased a years worth of internet unlimited access for 1400R or $140. It is nice to be paid up for a
year but the thing is I still have to pay the phone line at half a rand a minute which here is quite a bit of money. I am thinking on trying since I have a laptop to take it to the school and plug into their line if they let me. This is in part because if I did then maybe they would just pay the bill or if they did not then maybe at least it would be cheaper for me as their phone service might charge even almost as much as half as mine does. Also though it is still better than going to an internet cafe around here for one because I have a lot better computer than they do and for two because I get the whole bandwidth to myself which is only at max a 33k per second connection but is still better than before. I have been getting at least 30k per second on my counter most of the time which is fine. I am also supposed to have a land line soon. Actually by like September 3rd and maybe by late August. The number for my land line is theoretically is 011-266-22-401-198 or maybe if that does not work then 011-266-401-198.
To dial the cell phone the best I can tell is 011-266-873-9380 the other night someone called it and it did work so I feel like it must work. I do know it works with people calling me inside Lesotho which would work in case of emergencies. I also have found out about some kind of deal that can get a person some kind of cheaper phone rates to call here. The number is 1-800-986-6235 and is supposedly call Bell Talk Africa. If you called it I would be interested to know but supposedly many people here have it set up. It is supposed to have better rates than people have than using phone cards and much better than just dialing regularly.

Other than that I have been kind of just relaxing as I have finally had a couple days off now. I have done basically all my training and am just waiting for things to get along so I can have my final interview and swearing in and then of course a big party. As far as I am concerned I could just go to my site than go to some party where basically everyone except me is going to being drinking and almost all of which not only will be drinking but drinking quite a bit and shall be very drunk.

Actually people here have been drinking just about every night and for the most part I didn't mind it sometimes I get irritated but last night was well worth it as a very funny show was put on by two people that were drunk. Probably since coming here just about the funniest thing I have seen. All and all I was prepared for such things as I was told before coming in that as the trend goes Peace Corps volunteers like to drink and drink a lot.

It is really hard to explain how at times the land can be beautiful here. Sometime there are stretches of land that are almost pristine and beautiful. The stars here at night are really nice and are so vivid. On the other hand anywhere the people are there is a lot of trash. The trash and pollution here is definitely a downer. In town things are just dirty. And people just go the bathroom very often just wherever they are. It is a common thing to see a person just relieving themselves here or there so there is the smell in the cities that one sometimes does not like. This is in part because people here have only had the idea of toilets introduced on a wide scale for about twenty years and it is just slow to change. On thing that is even weirder is people will actually go right up to the out house and then squat on the ground so especially when walking near the out houses one needs to be careful where stepping. It just does not make sense though that a person would walk all the way to the out house only to not use it. Why? and no toilet paper either. It is just not how I was raised. But like I was saying besides the trash and the human waste laying around that one finds anyplace people are the land is very pristine. This is a reason I like going to South Africa.

In thirty minutes I can be in South Africa where there is no trash, people speak fluent English, where cars are a normal part of life with lots of roads, and just a general western attitude about things. I am supposed to be going the day after tomorrow for some shopping so I probably will enjoy the break from the third world atmosphere. It really amazes me too that I can be living and surviving in one of the poorest most undeveloped countries and then thirty minutes later be in a city that a person would recognize as totally developed and doing fine.

The picture is of me on top of Thaba Bosiou. It has a lot of history, when I went up there I drank water right out of a mountain spring. It tasted great and I did not even get sick. Also those green plants that are as tall as me are aloe and they get very big. The tall tree things are something that grows here but I do not know very much about what they are but that they grow tall for a weed. If you also look you can see some of the grass is burnt even on the most "sacred" mountain is Lesotho people still burn the grass. I really would not mind if they would stop burning the grass but it is part of the culture. The people many of which are convinced that the grass will grow back better if it is burnt are mistakenly burning as much as possible where it is actually on good for the grass if it is burned once every many years. Some of the other people a lot of which are kids like to burn it just to burn it.

Well I should talk with many of you soon on my new phone. Love ya, Jeff


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