MAIL TO: Kaye Thompson,
St.Rose Health Center,
Monday, February 8, 2010
FRIENDS AND HOLIDAYS
Lucky me! I had two rounds of visitors over the holidays. Nephew Kris joined me for a tour around Lesotho and into the South African Drakensburgs. He maneuvered the mountain roads, over rivers and down hair-pin Sani Pass. We picked-up friends in Tsaba Tseka (a wild west kind of town) and delivered them four hours later to their remote mountain family home in Mohotlong for the holidays. We were in the remotest parts of the Maloti mountains, occasionally picking up a roadside hiker who appeared to be in the middle of nowhere. Our accommodations were varied from a luxury guesthouse in the town of Himeville at the foot of the mountains to our Christmas house with a gorgeous view in the Champagne Valley to a tent in Royal Natal Park. We hiked to Bushmen caves, went horseback riding into dozens of giraffe and zebra herds in Spioenkop Reserve, meandered through the Drakensberg Midlands, and met many helpful and kind Lesothans and S.Africans. It was a trip full of contrasts between the simple rural pastoral mountain life in Lesotho, and the sumptuous, abundant and beautiful tourist-friendly life of South Africa.
Rebecca and her daughter arrived on New Year’s Eve. They wanted an authentic Lesotho experience which came primarily in the form of many many taxi rides in all shapes, sizes and levels of noise. My personal favorite was the large bus, standing room only, music so loud in spite of the fact that we had ear plugs jammed in as far as we dared. The men on either side of Rebecca and Sierra must have been especially inspired by the ladies’ presence, as they were dancing their hearts out in Michael-Jackson-crotch-grabbing fashion. I was sitting, so I had my own up-close-and-personal view of the dance moves. We also had numerous hours of waiting at taxi ranks, Maseru offering the best slice of city-life-in-Lesotho. We had some beautiful down time at Malealea Lodge, taking a waterfall hike and a horseback ride through the stunning countryside. We hung-out in my village, introducing them to Mopeli School and its principal who is the recipient of the books they gathered for the African Library Project. It was touching for all of us, when Rebecca and Sierra stepped into the new library, knowing each and every book they had gathered had now found a new home in Lesotho.
My cup runneth over from the joy of sharing this life with my good friends!
Since returning from Cameroon in Dec. 2011, I have been living in San Diego with my dog, brother and sis-in-law. Still hunting for more international work. But enjoying continuing travel to Cambodia and Korea.