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lea:141229 [2014/12/29 05:32]
lea created
lea:141229 [2018/03/06 08:59] (current)
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 ====== End 2014 ====== ====== End 2014 ======
 +
 +Edit : New Pictures are up!
    
 Well guys, sad news. Turns out I'm not in the peace corps after all. Listen to tuesday'​s schedule: Woke up, had freshly-ground coffee, dress, go to the gym, swim for a bit, have an amazingly hot, steamy, high-pressure shower, pizza and a beer. This isn't the peace corps, it's the Posh Corps. Well guys, sad news. Turns out I'm not in the peace corps after all. Listen to tuesday'​s schedule: Woke up, had freshly-ground coffee, dress, go to the gym, swim for a bit, have an amazingly hot, steamy, high-pressure shower, pizza and a beer. This isn't the peace corps, it's the Posh Corps.
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 We'd been at site just a week or so, '​settling in' ​ - by which I mean making shelves, sleeping a lot, and going to the gym, when Christmas came and we were allowed to go visit someone for a few days. Most of us in the South((We (the volunteers) are essentially divided into two groups - North and South, because you have to travel through the capital, Maseru, to get from one to the other, and PC limits travel to Maseru since it's the most dangerous place in the country - not that that's saying much.))decided to meet up at Jeff's place - for reasons unknown to me. He has a tin roof (gets really hot) and is mildly remote. At any rate, a few of us((Neel, Laurel, Colleen, Julie, and I)) met in Mafetang, the camptown closest to Jeff'​s. They got there earlier and went to Shoprite((The biggest grocery store chain. It's pretty awesome; you can find butter! And there'​s a chinese shop in Mafetang that's the only place in the country you can find soy sauce.)) I got there later, inevitably delayed by sleeping in, making coffee, and working out. And reading a bit. Like I said, /​inevitable/​ delay. ​ We'd been at site just a week or so, '​settling in' ​ - by which I mean making shelves, sleeping a lot, and going to the gym, when Christmas came and we were allowed to go visit someone for a few days. Most of us in the South((We (the volunteers) are essentially divided into two groups - North and South, because you have to travel through the capital, Maseru, to get from one to the other, and PC limits travel to Maseru since it's the most dangerous place in the country - not that that's saying much.))decided to meet up at Jeff's place - for reasons unknown to me. He has a tin roof (gets really hot) and is mildly remote. At any rate, a few of us((Neel, Laurel, Colleen, Julie, and I)) met in Mafetang, the camptown closest to Jeff'​s. They got there earlier and went to Shoprite((The biggest grocery store chain. It's pretty awesome; you can find butter! And there'​s a chinese shop in Mafetang that's the only place in the country you can find soy sauce.)) I got there later, inevitably delayed by sleeping in, making coffee, and working out. And reading a bit. Like I said, /​inevitable/​ delay. ​
  
-By the time I arrived, they had already found the taxi((Remember,​ when I say '​taxi',​ it's more like an old VW mini-bus. A 4+1 is a more conventional taxi.)), so I jumped off the bus((from Mohale'​s Hoek, my camptown - which is also amazing, it bunches of hardware stores. I found 480 feet of rope for a hammock!)) and went in search of them. It was not an easy search. The town was absolutely packed. Madness and mayhem were the rule of the day, this 24th of December. Go see the pictures, it was awful. In the end, I didn't find them, but an ntate found me and led me to them. They were crammed in the back of a taxi (again, pictures), and had been waiting for around an hour. The driver told me to sit up front, so I was nice and comfy.((Relatively speaking of course.)) We set off, with famu music((The most popular music in Lesotho. Also the worst. If I get a chance I'll record some, so you can make your ears bleed.))painfully blaring, as always. Actually painful, I mean. My ears hurt. Luckily, it wasn't too long of a taxi ride, so I only had to endure about an hour of the worst music in the world playing at full volume directly into my eardrum.((Seriously,​ the speaker was about an inch from my ear. Ok, maybe /two/ inches.)) They dropped us off in the middle of nowhere, and pointed in the direction we needed to walk, which included over a fairly big hill. We couldn'​t start walking though, because news came through that we had to go to a ma-china((How the Lesotho say chinese.)) shop about 20 minutes away, to buy water, and a few other things that I've momentarily forgotten and are also incredibly unimportant. ​+By the time I arrived, they had already found the taxi((Remember,​ when I say '​taxi',​ it's more like an old VW mini-bus. A 4+1 is a more conventional taxi.)), so I jumped off the bus((from Mohale'​s Hoek, my camptown - which is also amazing, it bunches of hardware stores. I found  of rope for a hammock!)) and went in search of them. It was not an easy search. The town was absolutely packed. Madness and mayhem were the rule of the day, this 24th of December. Go see the pictures, it was awful. In the end, I didn't find them, but an ntate found me and led me to them. They were crammed in the back of a taxi (again, pictures), and had been waiting for around an hour. The driver told me to sit up front, so I was nice and comfy.((Relatively speaking of course.)) We set off, with famu music((The most popular music in Lesotho. Also the worst. If I get a chance I'll record some, so you can make your ears bleed.))painfully blaring, as always. Actually painful, I mean. My ears hurt. Luckily, it wasn't too long of a taxi ride, so I only had to endure about an hour of the worst music in the world playing at full volume directly into my eardrum.((Seriously,​ the speaker was about an inch from my ear. Ok, maybe /two/ inches.)) They dropped us off in the middle of nowhere, and pointed in the direction we needed to walk, which included over a fairly big hill. We couldn'​t start walking though, because news came through that we had to go to a ma-china((How the Lesotho say chinese.)) shop about 20 minutes away, to buy water, and a few other things that I've momentarily forgotten and are also incredibly unimportant. ​
  
-We got back, and started the trek towards the hill. A 40lb bag on my back, and 5 liters ​of water in each hand (about ​12lbs each, which doesn'​t sound like a lot, but you walk for 45 minutes without letting go) made the walk...a great workout. I couldn'​t uncurl my hands for about an hour afterwards, and my shoulders hurt for days. In other words, a nice walk.+We got back, and started the trek towards the hill. A 40lb bag on my back, and  of water in each hand (about ​ each, which doesn'​t sound like a lot, but you walk for 45 minutes without letting go) made the walk...a great workout. I couldn'​t uncurl my hands for about an hour afterwards, and my shoulders hurt for days. In other words, a nice walk.
  
 Blah blah blah, etc. We had a great time, cooked a ton, ate well, slept terribly.((First night, under stars, nice breeze, not too bad, just went to bed late and woke up early. The second night though...Too buggy to be outside, so 9 of us crammed into a tiny little room, sandwiched in like those tiny little fish in a can. Fun times.)) The only other notable thing that we did was slaughter and cook chickens. The previous day, Jeff and I walked about an hour to buy some chickens, and carried them back in a sack. We let them roam free, and they took advantage of this by sitting on the ground and not moving. Neel had seen his family (host family) slaughter them once, but other than that we knew absolutely nothing. We carried them over to a small pit, and sawed off their heads with a kitchen knife. Mine took a while, I couldn'​t quite find the jugular, and the neck was tougher than it looks. Once dead, we dipped them in boiling water, and then in cold, to loosen the skin. Skinned them, then gutted them - this was the hardest part - and, lastly, dismembered them. Then just boiled them in a cauldron with veggies for a couple of hours, shredded them, and cooked it in a gravy.((Also,​ we all ate bits of the hearts for no reason at all. Quite tough.)) Pretty easy, actually. Blah blah blah, etc. We had a great time, cooked a ton, ate well, slept terribly.((First night, under stars, nice breeze, not too bad, just went to bed late and woke up early. The second night though...Too buggy to be outside, so 9 of us crammed into a tiny little room, sandwiched in like those tiny little fish in a can. Fun times.)) The only other notable thing that we did was slaughter and cook chickens. The previous day, Jeff and I walked about an hour to buy some chickens, and carried them back in a sack. We let them roam free, and they took advantage of this by sitting on the ground and not moving. Neel had seen his family (host family) slaughter them once, but other than that we knew absolutely nothing. We carried them over to a small pit, and sawed off their heads with a kitchen knife. Mine took a while, I couldn'​t quite find the jugular, and the neck was tougher than it looks. Once dead, we dipped them in boiling water, and then in cold, to loosen the skin. Skinned them, then gutted them - this was the hardest part - and, lastly, dismembered them. Then just boiled them in a cauldron with veggies for a couple of hours, shredded them, and cooked it in a gravy.((Also,​ we all ate bits of the hearts for no reason at all. Quite tough.)) Pretty easy, actually.
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