Monday, January 16, 2006

August 30th 2002

Hi everyone

Things are going fine here. My site is now officially for the next two years "my site" and my Peace Corps idea and passport has been issued to me. So what's it like to be a Peace Corps Volunteer? I am not sure yet. I do know that it seems like it will entail some ups and downs and many learning experiences. It might also be enlightening or a waste of two years figuratively speaking time will tell.
As I am saying training is over with and my work assignment here in Lesotho is now under way. So far things seem to be acceptable. I have a supervisor and a counterpart. The supervisor is my boss and the principle of the school. My counter part is named Me' Mahlampo. She is a teacher at the school theoretically she kind of shows me around and if I have questions about what it is like to be here in Lesotho or a teacher or this or that than she is the one I am supposed to go to. Also if there is any type of work that I am introducing and I want someone to carry on after I am gone than she would be the one I am to train how to do it. So theoretically she teaches me some things at the beginning of my stay and then I teach her some things at the end of the stay.
Every thing minus one box of mine has been moved here to my place. The exact location of the "missing" box is not exactly known but I am optimistic I shall get it back. The thing is I am not sure if it did not get loaded on the truck from the last place I was at or if it was then it just did not get unloaded off the truck. I would not mind if it was the latter of the two which means tomorrow I can walk to a friend of mines house and pick it up as it would of got mixed in with their stuff. Otherwise it could quite a while before I get that box back, it unfortunately has many papers in it too that I want. Not having a car and dealing with Peace Corps office means if I really needed something I just can't go and get something I forgot.
Like the mail, I am not sure if any one in the last couple of weeks has sent me any mail to my old address but if they have it might be at least another month before I get it but of course anyone sending mail to my address at

Jeff McDonald/ TÅ¡epo
P/Bag C0020
Leribe 300, Lesotho
Southern Africa

will get right to me after of course the average two weeks it takes for me to get mail here. Anyway the cord I purchased to connect the computer to the phone line is in that box so for me to have sent this email out I either have found the box or not found it and decided to buy an additional cord.
These ladies at the school are just so excited to see me. At the end of two years if they are still just as happy and excited to see me when I walk into the teachers lounge I am going to have to change my thoughts and theories about a lot of things. It was amusing my last visit to the teachers lounge. As the days have now moved into a rainy season which almost all of Lesotho's rain for the year will be precipitated in the next month and a half it was kind of cool today. By no means the cold of winter we just came out of but definitely cool. I went into the lounge and the women were circled around the heater like a camp fire even bundled up in blankets. Generally speaking it seems like the Basotho on a whole are more sensitive to the cold than Americans. I shall have a hard time forgetting about the time I went and visited a school. I was wearing a thin long sleeve shirt with no jacket and slacks and had spent much of the day outside. I went an administrators office and a lady was bundled up in a blanket. Now that is not too bad but this lady had the heater on and I am serious when I say that the room was well into the ninety degrees. I just could not believe someone could keep the heater going. It reminds of a story of someone that when air conditioners first came out years ago that some people would turn them on and turn them on high just keeping them going as much as they could not really realizing that just because they had it does not mean they had to always use it. But this lady was doing the similar thing with an electric heater and after about five minutes in that room I was definitely ready to leave.
I am inclosing a picture it is of me by a waterfall by Roma where I was doing training. There is another waterfall as this one is small but the other one is supposed to be really impressive. You all might very well notice I have had a haircut and shave. I look like most of all remember me now but that shall probably change again soon enough.

As it is though I hope things are going well and I will talk to you soon. Love ya, Jeff


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