Monday, February 29, 2016

Good Week

End of February

I had a really good week.  

Our students are training for a district race on March 12th.  The students are preparing for a 100m, 200m, 500m, and 1500m race.  Last year we had the fastest 100m male in the 17-19 year range.  After school they walk down a hill where there are less rocks on the ground and run barefoot.  

Girls running the 100m.

Ntate Mothibeli instructs the runners on proper stretching techniques.  

We had several assemblies this week.  The first was by the Lesotho Highlands Development Project.  The Senqu River is in the process of being damed.  It will be the second largest dam in Lesotho next to the Katse dam.  The project will flood many villages in the area.  LHDP needs to compensate the families for relocation expenses, grazing and agriculture land losses, and the construction of a new road to Mokhotlong.  The dam is expected to be finished by 2024 but many of the locals are doubtful it will remain on schedule.  

Students were expected to take notes during the assembly as the dam will greatly impact the community.  Students that got questions correct at the end received prizes from LHDP.  

I’ve been trying to integrate real world examples and demonstrations into the classroom every other week or so.  Relevancy is something I always felt math was lacking in high school (no offense Mr. Porter) and I want to change that.  I used a rock on a 1 meter length of string to demonstrate a pendulum to the class.  I wanted to show that the period of a pendulum is independent of mass.  The class timed me for 10 periods and the final result was less than a second off our predicted value, which blew their minds.  We gave Isaac Newton a round of applause at the end.

I made the shyest boy in the class get into the makeshift pendulum and he was a hero for 29.6 seconds. 

************Changing Gears**************

Melinda came all the way from Quthing to visit me this weekend!!!  It took her 6 hitchhikes, 2 taxis, and 14 hours of travel to make it the 480 km to Mokhotlong.  I was grateful for every minute we had together and I look forward to our Easter backpacking trip.

We headed into town for some exploring and shopping.  We went to the Mokhotlong Hotel for lunch and a beer.  They were out of pizza but we had chicken, fries, and a tasty salad instead.  

We made it back to my place just in time for an amazing sunset.  I took about a thousand pictures of her and she was a good sport about it.  It’s not everyday I get to photograph my beautiful girl so I took full advantage of the situation.  

**************Changing Gears*************

Melinda left on Saturday morning for a long trip back.  Some of the Mokhotlong group got together with the NGO Touching Tiny Lives (an unfortunately named group that combats child malnutrition) for a small pahte'.

TTL made a delicious chili like dish with REAL CHEESE!  

Rob and Eric uhm bonding or something.

Brandi and Jordan

*************Changing Gears**************

On a more depressing note, I found out my good friend Derek is deploying to Iraq this April.  I had the pleasure of serving with Derek for almost two years in Iraq.  He and his wife Rachael have been like family to me over the years.  I cannot believe we are still sending troops over there.  My heart goes out to Rachael and their two kids, Karisma and Logan.  Stay safe buddy and I will see you in less than two years.


- Joel


  1. Enjoyed your posts. Melinda seems like a beautiful young woman and isn't it wonderful to fall in love? Enjoyed hearing about your classes and students. Mr. Porter would be proud. Lolove, mom

  2. Joel,
    I'm loving the updates. Your new camera looks like it's serving you well. And great demo on simple harmonic motion. Those go so far in helping drive home a cool truth.

    And yeah, Melinda must be patient. I'm never any good at being on that side of the lens, let along letting someone take piles and piles of pics. God is good.

    - Mark

  3. Joel's got a girlfriend Joel's got a girlfriend