Here in Lesotho, summer is the rainy season. We get most of our annual rainfall during the summer months. This probably brings to mind the Hollywood version of a rainy season: constant downpour, mud, and gray skies.
Hollywood has not spent much time in Lesotho though. Most mornings are bright and sunny. As the day progresses, it gets hotter as more clouds develop. As afternoon progresses, the winds usually pick up and dark grey clouds rumble in the distance. Sometimes, this yields and wonderful, hail filled thunderstorm. Other times, it is only a tease and no rain actually falls. Yet other times, it seems to be a tease until the middle of the night when a loud thunderstorm wakes me up and has me scurrying to place basins under my leaky roof.
|Morning and Maize in Lesotho|
|A photo break in the field|
Given the heat and the lack of shade in the fields, I am amazed at how dedicated everyone is to the work in the fields right now. The time and energy spent working the fields, predominantly by hand, is astonishing. Unlike in America, where we have machines to do much of the hard work, here the people are using a simple hoe to plow, plant, weed, and eventually harvest entire maize fields. But, if they do not do this, they will either have to buy their food come winter or go hungry if they do not have the money to buy food. Thus, working the fields is not only their custom, but their only real option.
The other day, my brother was asking how big my garden in America was. He was stunned to learn I had to purchase all of my food. In rural Lesotho, that is simply not part of reality. Even those with jobs and money still plant gardens to supplement their purchased food. Regardless of the size of someone's plot of land and yard space, most of it will be covered with gardens instead of grass. The idea that people in a rich country like America would not also garden was simply beyond comprehension.
|The first of many giant zucchini.|