Monday, January 16, 2006

September 19th 2002

Hi everyone,

The music is playing and as I lock the door and close the blinds I listen to the sound coming from the bathroom. I hear running water going into a bathtub and I know it is hot. This is since moving into this place my first hot bath. I think it was about seventy five degrees fariegnhieght outside today with clear blue skies from sunrise to sunset. This of course meant my solar water heater was going to be working well. I was careful to let the hot water set and warm up and about four o'clock I went to check and it was hot but was it going to be enough to fill the bathtub I wondered. It was and twenty minutes later I was enjoying I nice hot bath as I thought of my friends in America that would of thought me making such a big deal about a nice steaming hot bath an absurdity and then I turn my attention to my fellow Peace Corps volunteers here in Lesotho who for three weeks now have been bathing out of a bucket with water they fetched from a spicket outside there house and heated up with a kettle on the stove and I know I am not making too much of a fuss. I know how some of my buddies in Lesotho would be so grateful for a hot bath. I know the hot water in my bathtub is more bath water than one of them might use in an entire week or two and that I did not have to fetch it but simply turn on the facet.
Other things here have also been going well. The teachers are learning how to play solitaire even if it has taken my two weeks an average of two hours a day teaching the ten of them. Many of which are starting to stay after class and come in before to play solitaire. One has even been able to win with no help of my own. It is really starting to pick up and it is no big deal to see two to four Bo-Me (women) gathered around a computer with three chiefs and one Indian or three people telling the one actually playing what to do and often times with them all working together and they are winning. Almost a solitaire fever has hit and I am wondering how far it will go. I think back and now that I realized more or less every time I have seen someone on a computer since coming to Lesotho Peace Corps volunteers aside they have all more or less been playing games. I have definitely decided at no point will I be teaching free cell! I can easily believe it or not considerably halting what little gets done around here anyway. The bo-me seriously have already told me, "if I had one of these in my house I would not do any work but just play the cards and listen to the music" and I am reminded of someone I know that use to come home from work and play music on the computer and play free cell for a couple hours just about every night (you know who you are). I actually have been teaching other things like the calculator and painting but for the most parts for next week I just planning on letting them play cards all class long just to get comfortable sitting in front of a computer and operating a mouse.
After next week I am going to have two weeks off from work. Yes a whole two weeks. One week is a holiday and the next is a conference. I feel like even though the semester might last three months only about two of it will I actually be working with the rest being social functions, holidays, no electricity, or this or that. The two weeks off will be great though as I will be able to do a lot of work in the garden and just kind of finish settling in as I after training did errands for about a week and then started work but still would like to do some more things to get myself ready for the next two years. I can tell you though I sure am not upset I am not in training now though. It was really like basically if I wasn't doing something training related then I was probably sleeping. I was so busy during that eleven weeks. They kept on telling us "you'll have more than enough time to relax when you get to your site" and probably for most of the volunteers it really seems like that is true. On average it seems like the volunteers do work about five hours a week which makes my sixteen and a half hours a week on my schedule in comparison look like a nice amount. One volunteer after telling him how much I was doing was joking and was like "slow down, take a vacation, you don't want to work yourself out of a job" but other volunteers telling me similar things are kind of more serious.
As it is though I should say that I am not now checking my email as often as since my phone works now I can watch my money just tick away now that I have a prepaid account and an account balance. It is a lot easier to just call and get the bill later than it is to prepay and be like if I call this much then there won’t be any money in the account. I know it is Psychological but sure does keep me using the phone less.
I hope you all are well and during my two weeks of vacation I am planning on going to a cultural fest so in a few weeks I might have some more pictures. jeff


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