Saturday is funeral day in Lesotho. This Saturday brought the funeral of my neighbor and extended family member: ‘M’e ‘Maletsitsi. This funeral brought hundreds of people and more tears than I have seen at a funeral yet. Hundreds turned out to mourn the loss of an incredible woman and mother. Although she had been sick for a long time, ‘M’e ‘Maletsitsi had always drawn respect by working hard despite her illness.
As a mother to a dozen children, an entire generation of youth had grown up in her presence and none were unaffected by her passing, including me.
As I passed my friend 'M'e 'Mamookho's house, I saw my favorite garden in Lesotho had been torn apart. Later that day, as I returned home, I was delighted to see 'M'e 'Mamookho sitting nearby as another villager rebuilt her small raised bed garden.
I like to call this garden serapa sa naleli, which translates to star garden. Prior to being pulled apart one bottle at a time by small children, it was a perfectly shaped star with small green vegetables and a few flowers growing in it. With most gardens in Lesotho being either a raised bed keyhole garden or a ground level plot, this star shape has always stood out as a symbol of the pride and creativity on the part of 'M'e 'Mamookho.
I am so excited to see it being rebuilt!
In this photo, students in Class Five are taking their pre-test to establish a baseline on their knowledge before we start in on our topics.
My plan for this, my final semester with these kids, is a combination of decision making and youth sexual reproductive health. The students will be learning about making choices between needs and wants, the biological changes of puberty, HIV transmission, and how to say no until they are ready for sex. It is going to be a great semester!