We traveled to this great hotel for the workshop. I've not much to say on the workshop itself, I'm not even really sure what it was all about, I was busy writing silly poems and playing Basotho Ultra-tac-toe1) I think it was mostly about us meeting our principals, and having cross-cultural sessions. Not terrible, but repetitive and much longer than necessary.
But on to the important stuff.
The food. After the first meal, I wasn't hungry the /entire/ time.(For those who have no idea who I am, this is an impressive culinary feat.)) The food quantities weren't enormous - but with seconds and multiple deserts I managed. Plus tea-time. Unfortunately, there was a Food Nazi - the kitchen manager. Apparently, seconds are not really a thing here, and it was kind of a fight with the FN to get them. But fight I did. We had to wait until /everyone/ was served, and then - by which time I had finished eating about 30 minutes ago - you could get seconds. If there were any. I think I gained a few pounds there.2)
And there was a gym! With a pool! I went to the gym twice a day while there, and swam twice. The morning sessions were something Julie and I started - Sandalcamp. Basically just an exercise session that teaches bodyweight exercises and stretches we can do at site with little to no resources. It's been fairly, but not hugely popular. A lot more people expressed interest than have actually showed haha. It was amazing to have weights. Not that it was much of gym; of the equipment they had about 80% of it was shoved into a corner, broken. A couple of the mornings we saw Basotho doing aerobics, to an old american workout video - hilarious. And annoying - they took our space.
And hot showers! Sooooo nice. All in all, a pretty great weekend. The best way to appreciate simple things is to deprive yourself of them.
After the workshop, we all went our separate ways, to our 2-year (permanent) sites.
My principal drove me to my extremely distant site - a whole ten minutes. I'm right off the paved road, a really nice location. Especially considering some people have to travel hours and hours to even get to their nearest town. I was kind of hoping to be in the mountains, and I got flatlands - pretty similar terrain to the pictures you've seen, but being within days shopping of one of the best grocery stores in the country more than makes up for it. Not to mention the hotel being 10 minutes.3)
The PCV I'm taking over from is still living there, so I have the good fortune to not have to buy tubs and buckets and furniture and all that nonsense. And we ate well! Well, by PCV standards at least. Inch-thick pancakes, with syrup4) And no-bake chocolate-oatmeal cookies. Droool.5) The house is a nice-sized rondavel, salmon on the inside, inside a family compound, slightly isolated.
I did actually see the school, it's a short little 40 minute jaunt across rocky, dusty paths from my house. About 300 students I think, though I didn't see most of them since exams were ending. I barely met the teachers, since the current PCV was still there, it was a bit strange. They were invigilating6) and grading exams. I went to school 3 days in the morning, and left after a few hours to go nap7) and exercise. Then Narine (the PCV) would get home, and we'd eat and play chess for a couple of hours. Nice little vacation, really.
I was supposed to get a new Sesotho name, but I was introduced to the school as Sir Lea, and that stuck. Sir Lea it is.