South Africa – Fall 2007

Journal 4

After three weeks living in the crowded streets of Soweto, many of us were looking for a place to spread out and enjoy the scenery. Lesotho offered that and so much more. Eighteen members of our group lived in the village of Malealea while the remaining six lived in the neighbouring village of Tsianku. Jeff and I lived in a small two room house with our host mom and our two host brothers.

Despite the tight living quarters, I enjoyed the beautiful scenery and the mountainous landscape. We took frequent hikes to locations such as a nearby gorge, bushmen cave paintings, waterfalls, and a few mountains around the village. Many of us guys would go down to a massive rock along the river in a nearby valley every day or so to share stories, joke around, or do pushups (we're so manly). I spent three days a week in elementary school classrooms doing my best to help teach math and English, although "help" often meant to just do everything while the teacher went somewhere else. Luckily I'm not an elementary education major or I would have wasted the first half of my college career because this experience confirmed that I am way too crabby to be a teacher.

Apart from time spent at the school or time spent exploring the village, I enjoyed large stretches of free time and an average of 11 hours of sleep a night. My most memorable experience was a 6 hour hike up a nearby mountain range, culminating with the 14 of us reaching the summit of Fuku Fuku, the highest peak in the area. The hike itself would have been memorable enough without the massive storm that reached us at the top. With lightning all around us we began sprinting down the mountain with little regard for where we were going and where the rest of the group was. After about twenty minutes of hail the storm began to subside and we reunited with our guide and the rest of the group at the bottom. The hike capped off an incredible three weeks of new relationships, unbelievable hospitality, and too many other blessings to count (oh, and a LOT of hail). The beauty of Lesotho will surely stay with me for my entire life. For now, I got a month or so to keep living it up in S.A.

- Miles