Monday, January 16, 2006

September 6th 2002

Hi Everyone,

Things are going well today. We are having a lot of rain which I gather for just about anywhere in Africa is something to celebrate about. Actually I am in a rainy season which I don't quite mind because I know if it was not regularly raining here it would be getting hot. I am sure not as hot as Oklahoma right now but still probably hot as it is though the rain makes for some nice spring time whether. I am only three weeks out of winter and from just a little bit of work in the garden on some sunny days already have a nice tan on my arms and face, I wonder just how dark I shall get after two years of 300 days of sunshine. I am guessing probably about as dark as my Grandpa Tom though who spends his summers in Oklahoma and winters in Arizona.

My garden is going to be quite a garden. This is really the first time I have had the time, tools, land, and desire to plant a garden that I can get enough food out of to eat a "good" meal basically on a daily basis just from the garden if I wish. So far I have started seeds for tomatoes, onions, radish, cabbage, carrots, and chili peppers. I in my garden already have from a previous renter of the duplex two rows of spinach and other spinach like plants. I have been considering also other plants but as of yet have not yet decided, there is talk though of maybe growing corn between a teacher at the school and me.

It is not going to be to hard being a vegetarian here in Lesotho. I am eating a lot of fish and eggs to make up for the protein. I do think even if I did want to eat meat I might not even do it. I have kind of been exposed to a practice here that we as Americans do not practice. It seems that when it comes to the meat much of it has not been butchered but just kind of died in the field, maybe of old age, maybe of disease, maybe of not getting enough to eat or drink, who knows. The deal is though they eat fallen animals and if I am going to eat meat I would prefer of course eating a healthy animal that was recently slaughtered. I have not observed them eating chickens that have died versus being slaughtered but I figure if they eat the fallen cows why not eat the chickens too. So I am not eating too much meat here and if I am it will be coming from South Africa where I would gather that kind of thing is regulated.

I think the eating of fallen animals has many factors surrounding it, one of which is that this is a third world country and there is a famine going on which means if there is food do not question where it came from just eat it. But another part of it is that because people are so poor here and cattle is so prized that if a person has a cow they like to keep it as a sign of wealth or something. It is not like in America where when most of the time after three or four years when a cow has reached a big enough size to butcher they butcher it unless someone is using it for breeding more cattle. Which is another point it really confuses me while some people have cows they are not too excited about breeding it. So basically they have this cow that is just eating there grass and they will flat out tell you "I will never sell it, or butcher it" but finally after many years of them not breeding it the cow finally dies and then they eat it now that the meat is old and tough and possibly even disease infected. I even have been so bold to ask some Basotho after they tell me that they have one cow "what do you do with it?". I ask because I want to know why someone would first of all just have one cow. I am thinking all you have to do is get it pregnant and then you have milk and another cow. But mainly I just get a confused look back from the owner of the one cow. Like they just have it to have it or something, they don't really do anything with them but they want them. It just does not make much sense to me. I can only relate in the way that some Americans might have antique couch or car. They don't really do anything with it and it is more of a sign of wealth than anything, except for the Americans of course don't eventually risk their health by some day eating their antique! I have also seen the Basotho eating horse and I can also gather that especially the horses have not been slaughtered but died of old age.

So anyway back to the point that my week has been going well. I have a job now and it is to tutor computer skills I work about three hours a day and that just might be enough to fill up another e-mail. So I shall talk to you all soon that is of course only if you call me love Jeff


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