Saturday, April 21, 2012

April 20th

My mom spent the last two weeks with me at my site in my village. She lived my life with me for a couple weeks and never complained about anything. She carried water on her head, did a lot of hiking, and cooked me good food on my two burner stove. We had an amazing time together and it went by all too fast. It was nice to share my life with her and now she’ll know that I’m safe and sound in my village. My mom met all my friends and even learned a little Sesotho.  I want to keep her with me, but I guess she must return back to her husband and to her job.
Cape Town Vacation
I just returned from a vacation in Cape Town. Wow, the vacation was absolutely perfect. I’ll remember it forever. My vacation went a little like this.  On April 4th I got a ride from my nearest town to Bloemfontein and took a flight to Cape Town.  On that flight there were 3 other PCVs who were also visiting Cape Town for the Easter holiday and the Two Oceans Half Marathon.  We all had our catching up time and were extremely excited to be re-introduced to the little things in life that matter…electricity, running water, good food, coffee. I stayed in a backpackers (hostel) that night and went out to Mexican food with another volunteer. The following day I picked up my mom from the airport. I don’t think I had ever been so nervous. I was just waiting in the airport pacing around until my mom came through the departure gate.  We then went to a super cute B & B called La Rose B & B and relaxed for a little bit. Since last Thursday was so beautiful we knew we had to go up Table Mountain that day because the weather is so unpredictable. We went up to the top on a gondola and took lots of amazing pictures.  The weather was crap the next day, so we spent Friday at the Two Oceans Expo and picked up our race packets. The Expo was a really good one and they gave VIP service to the international participants. We were able to skip the big crowd, get our packets, and then sit in the international room and eat cookies and get free drinks.
Last Saturday was the big race day. My mom and I were goofing off the night before and were eating tons of chocolate and laughing instead of sleeping. We decided that since we really didn’t train for the race, we were just going to have fun instead. We called a cab to pick us up at 5:45 for the race at 6. Of course we knew we were going to be late..I just didn’t know if I could tolerate the start line crowd. Typically that is the worst part of a race for me and since I live such an isolated life I knew I was going to get overwhelmed by the crowd. We ended up being over 20 minutes late and when we got to the start line the half marathon runners were long gone and the ultra marathon runners were just starting. I got lost in the crowd and after about 30 minutes I realized that I had missed the turn for the half marathon route. I decided I would continue to run with the ultra runners until I got tired. I just kept going and going and ended up finishing the ultra marathon – 56 Km (around 35 miles). I had promised myself I wouldn’t run another marathon..but I guess I lied to myself and completed an ultra somewhat on accident. I’m thinking next year I could run it again and if I train the next time around, I’ll be able to run it faster.

The next day, I got a massage and then we moved to a nice hotel at the waterfront. The waterfront in Cape Town is really swanky and there is a huge mall, lots of small cruise ships, and good restaurants. My mom and I took a little day cruise with a bottle of wine and did a lot of shopping. Overall, the trip was amazing.

March 2nd

I love being back at my village. Especially because I know I’m not going to leave for a while. The transportation out of my village is so hectic that it’s nice to know I won’t be spending a ton of money and several hours in an organ-jumbling taxi ride. The ride is so bumpy, that sometimes I have bruises on my arms or legs after my journey. I’ll tell you why I like my village so much. First of all, I can get everything I need here. I have a vegetable guy that delivers all types of produce to my door. I can get tons of spinach, potatoes, onions, and mushrooms all for under 5 dollars.  Also, I go to Sesotho tutoring about 4 times a week and I love my teacher. We typically joke about my dog and talk about my life in Sesotho. We always talk about this mythical dwarf called a tokalosi and I tell my tutor about how my tokalosi cooks and cleans for me. Learning Sesotho keeps me sane and really has helped me adapt to Lesotho.

1 comment:

  1. Good morning how are you?

    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because trough them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately it’s impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

    For all this I would ask you one small favor:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Lesotho? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Lesotho in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Calle Valencia,39
    28903 Getafe (Madrid)

    If you wish, you can visit my blog where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

    Finally I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely

    Emilio Fernandez