March 14th 2004
I am doing fine here in Lesotho. I have been just trying to bring some of my work here into the final stages. I am teaching English, doing HIV awareness work and overseeing the computer program at my school that I set up.
I have asked permission to finish my Peace Corps work by mid June. I still have not had any official word back on this so I am not sure when I would be coming back to the US. I do plan on traveling for a little while in Africa after finishing Peace Corps. I am currently under travel restrictions now. Basically because I am nearing the end of my service I am not allowed to travel. This policy ensures that volunteers finish up there work instead of blowing it off and traveling there last months of service which some would definitely do.
I took my last vacation with Debra my mother and her friend Donna. We had a nice time seeing game parks, going around Lesotho, and visiting tourist areas of Cape town. I promised her a vacation that would be different and exciting and I feel like she got one. I am sure Debra and Donna will both remember this vacation for a very long time and be very glad to have been on it. One of the funny moments was when I told them that I would be having a lady come over to do our laundry. They both thought me a lazy for not being able to do my own laundry and were probably thinking about doing it themselves when they learned that the lady that would be coming over to do the laundry would be doing it by hand. In the whole country of Lesotho there are really only and handful of washing machines.
To be truthful I really don’t care for doing laundry by hand. I remember coming to Lesotho and being told for the next two months while I was in training all my laundry would be done by hand. My hands. I from the get go did not go along with that. My first plan was to wear my clothes over and over again as long as they were not stained or smelly. That worked for a while but eventually still the two suitcases of clothes I brought with me were dirty. I would then go on to just wash what I needed until we went to village. In the village I found a young girl that needed money and bribed her to wash all my clothes when and where the careful eye of Peace Corps was not looking. My plan worked great and was repeated as necessary in training. After arriving at site I quickly found a lady more than happy to wash my clothes for money.
Otherwise I have been getting use to life and Lesotho and after almost two years am feeling fairly adjusted.
I am not sure if I can ever be totally adjusted. I just stick out too much and everyone stares. I went to a jazz concert the other day. I went with a German friend of mine and amongst a jammed packed crowd of bobby brown colored African heads were two heads clearly a head taller than most everyone else and to make it worse our head were not dark but light. I in a way will look forward to being able to blend anonymously into a crown back in America in a way I cannot ever do here.
I also in a taxi ride the other day noticed that the man next to me had a chicken wrapped in a blanket.
This soon to be dinner noticed about the same time I noticed it and apparently being scared and confused decided to bite me. Luckily as far as I know chickens don’t carry rabies and I still seem fine. I can’t explain just how comical and near fatal the taxi rides have been here. It is a different part of the world and I should not forget it for a long while but I am sure I might not miss it very much. Which brings to another point my coming back to America is going to be coming soon enough if anyone has an old car that they would sell fairly cheaply I could be interested in buying it. Keep me in mind please. Also I sent a disk with Debra with a lot of pictures on it. If anyone is interested about seeing pictures I took please ask her and she shall let you borrow it.
Peace, Paradise, and Good Vibrations.Jeff