Monday, December 21, 2015

First Mokhotlong Hike Fail

All of the volunteers left for our sites on Thursday, the day after the swear in ceremony.  I was picked by Mothibeli (Mot-eh-be-dee), an english teacher at my school, Sekonyela High School.  I am the second farthest volunteer away from the Peace Corps administration (just the way I planned it) in our 36 person group.  Mothibeli had to leave at 4:00 am in order to get to our training village by 8:00 am.  
I spent the first day setting up my “house” the way I like it.  I can’t take credit for the design but I modified a shower in order to help conserve water during the drought.  The next day I went for a hike to examine the scenery and the effects of the drought.  

This is the largest river in Lesotho and it should have several feet throughout.  Instead it is a series of non-connecting puddles.  The land should be completely green with wild grass but instead it is mostly barren.  

I ran into this kid during my hike and was asked “U ea kae?” or where are you going.  I replied I was heading down to another village and then to the river to take photographs.  He was excited at this and insisted he be my guide.  We started out in the right direction and then he just slowly started making a 1.5 mile radius loop.  Figuring one of his legs must be shorter than the other I stopped and pointed to the spot I intended on going, which was now nearly 90 degrees to our right.  He blurted out a string of Sesotho that sounded remarkably like “angry PMS cave troll”.  Intrigued and unable to pass up an opportunity like that, I obliged to follow.  

This should have 2 feet of water in it but it is barely a trickle.  I continued to follow the herd boy in the large circle and we approached the river from another angle.  He kept looking down the 200 foot cliff to the river below, which excited me, I mean he is a local so he must know all of the best spots.  Then we turned yet again.

At this I stopped him and explained that we were now going the exact opposite direction that I originally had intended on hiking.  He said something and pointed forward.  “Pula” (rain) he said as he pointed to the clouds, how do I say “I have a rain jacket in my backpack?”.  I reluctantly followed and then we climbed a hill and then low and behold, there is my village.  

The boy was right though, look at those rain clouds and compare them with the first picture.  That is a pretty drastic weather change for an hour and a half long hike.  At this point he was no longer guiding he was “escorting” me home, “how do I say I’m not a gremlin” in Sesotho?  We were walking side by side and I asked him what his name was, “Tsamae” he replied.  That means “go” in Sesotho, fitting name kid.  

I arrived back to my rondavel and didn’t get hit with a single drop of rain.  But wait what is that thing lying to the left of my door?  I left my solar panel and battery charger out.  Maybe I should take these kids more seriously.

- Peace

No comments:

Post a Comment