God bless the rains down in Africa.
This is the place I have dreamed about going to for years and now I am finally here, yet it is not much different. While the houses are built differently, the landscape is not the same, and there are animals walking all over the grounds, I still find myself forgetting I am in a different country, a different continent. I sometimes feel like I am in America, in Connecticut, in New Britain even. However, what does stand out are the people. While there are friendly and welcoming people in the States, in Lesotho the people here show such genuineness in their welcomes through great smiles and waves of joy.
One would find it unusual for Americans to be greeted so kindly in another country, that is why I asked one young girl why she loved us coming to her country, knowing that we will leave so soon. She answered back: “Because you are a friend.” This wise girl also wrote to me saying that although our time is short we should enjoy the time we have together.
And this is why I came to Lesotho. To enjoy the time I could get with the Basotho; to know their names, to hear their stories, to build a relationship, to capture their love and give mine. I believe that I have done this even after one week. I have built a relationship with a child from playing with dirt that developed into a great friendship. I have relationships with Habitat leaders that started out with (quite frankly) bull shitting. Language is not a barrier in forming relationships. That is the beauty in Lesotho. If one does not know the language, the Basotho will teach it to you and when you mess up they will teach you again. Although, I have learned that the language of a simple smile can develop a beautiful friendship.
Mama: I think you would appreciate that I developed a friendship with a child who did not speak much English but could read and write it by playing the letter game, where I wrote a letter on his back and he would guess. The next day he came back with a friend and I saw him doing it to his friend. I also am teaching some children some sign language, which they love (obviously). I think you would love it here. There are gardens and sunflowers everywhere.
To family and friends (Ma, Daddy, Zach, Troy, Mel, FLCR, and others):
Happy (last day of) Advent. Merry Christmas! I love where I am and what I am doing and I love you all!
P.S. They do know it is Christmastime and the Basotho are so excited to have us spend Christmas in Lesotho.