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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 29, 2016

Three Photo Thursday-29 September

Back in January, one of my villagers began construction on her huge house. I mentioned it at the end of Constructing Dreams. For eight months, the walls sat, completed, waiting for the roofing process to begin. To roof a large cement block house like this first involves building up the walls anywhere the roof will by high, before actually attaching the roof.

I had begin to think I would not see the house completed, however, this week the roofing supplies arrived and workers began the roofing process. Here the workers are adding the cement bricks that will support the roof on their first day of work. 

Although harvest in Lesotho was months ago-in July-much of my family's maize is still sitting on the cobs waiting for my host mother to have time to remove it. She is simply too busy with work, caring for the boys, and church to also spend hours separating the dried corn from the cobs.

This week, however, my nkhono or grandmother came to help as the family needed to grind more maize into powder for papa.  She spent two days just sitting in the shade working away-occasionally yelling at the pig for trying to come and sneak some food. It was great to have her visit and a boon to my mother to have the help around the house.

Over the course of the political primary, many Basotho would ask me about the American election and when I would be returning to vote. Having watched a number of villagers who work abroad return home for their own special election in February 2015, their question made sense to me. In order to avoid voter fraud, Basotho must vote in person.

Those conversations have highlighted for me, yet again, how lucky I am to be American. Obviously, I would not be a US Peace Corps volunteer living in Lesotho if I were not American, but, that aside, I am able to vote from Lesotho with little hassle. I signed up for my absentee ballot early on in the primary process (although sadly, not early enough to cast my ballot in New Hampshire in January). From there, I simply waited until my town clerk emailed it to me. Forty-eight hours later I found myself researching the New Hampshire gubernatorial candidates and presto, I have voted…five Tuesdays before America goes to the polls. And, since there is no postal strike in South Africa this year, unlike in 2014’s election months, my ballot should make it home and get counted! 

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