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I leave my house for work and get called over by two village women awaiting their chance to do business with the chief. The first smiles...

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Three Photo Thursday: 1 September

Spring is coming! The first recognition of this is already blooming beautifully in our yard: plum blossoms. The plum tree is always ahead of the peaches. It blooms weeks before them, with delicate and beautiful white blossoms. It also produces a month or two ahead of our peach trees. While Lesotho will soon be filled with bursts of pink color on the brown landscape, these white flowers are the first indication that winter is ending.

Considering how cold the weeks preceding these little flowers have been, I am really excited to see them bringing in warmer days!

I tried to pick the least gruesome photo to show this moment.
The week started out with our “pet” pig being slaughtered. This pig had been free range since winter began and there were no gardens to be destroyed. He had reached the point of trying to heel whenever we wandered around the yard or started out from the house. I am still not sure he realized he was a pig and not a dog, especially as he had a tendency to come running to kiss my leg every time I left the house.

This Sunday morning activity was not my first pig slaughter, however, it was the first time we slaughtered something larger than a chicken at our house. The boys and their uncle spent much of the morning working with the pig and later the meat. I then spent much of the later afternoon cutting up my portion of pork to make Five Spice Pork Tacos! Since I never cook meat at home, this was quite the treat!

Chatting it up with the amazing Lebo Mashile after her
inspiring poetry reading in Maseru. 
Throughout my 27 months in Lesotho, my cultural moments have been restricted to the local culture found in rural villages. Celebrating and learning traditional culture through Cultural Days or incredible moments like being thrust into the Litolobonya hut has been amazing. This week while in Maseru to help with preparations for the upcoming Pre-Service Training, a good friend invited me to attend a Poetry Festival.

Although excited, I was ill prepared for just how much I would love the experience. It was like coming home while still living in Lesotho! The night began with some young women performing their own poetry, switching comfortably between English and Sesotho while blowing me away with their stage presence. The headliner, Lebo Mashile from South Africa, really astounded me.

The month of August is women’s month and as such, Lebo performed a number of her poems centered around the realities of being a women. With lines like “Tell your story until your past stops destroying your future” and “There is a me that I could be, if I just let her breathe outside,” I found myself hanging on her every word. My friend and I had the chance to meet her after the show, where she admitted that this was the longest reading she had ever done. We very truthfully assured her we would have happily listened to her for another hour or two as she signed the book of poetry I had quickly purchased. The long forgotten English major in me ecstatic to delve further into the way that Lebo plays with words, meaning, and rhythm. 

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