Monday, August 23, 2010

Our daily bread

Holy Busy Batman! My apologies again for a lack of posts. Since school has started I have been busier than ever working on classes, getting kids to use the new school library, library workshop things, writing a program with a PCV friend to help schools do grades, and finally diversity camp!

Diversity camp took me to the mountains of Lesotho to the district of Mokhotlong. The camp was for 24 (though only 20 made it) high school students. The purpose of the camp was to introduce the kids to different kinds of diversity and how to accept or at least tolerate those around them who are different. There were several speakers from people of different races to people of different beliefs to people of different sexual orientation. A lot of the kids had never met an atheist or homosexual in the past. I think it was quite eye opening for them. The goal of the camp is to have the kids be ambassadors to their schools and communities. I really hope they bring the messages back. If not, at least they got a weekend with great food, running water, and electricity.

So the camp was funded from a source that addresses HIV and AIDS relief. This includes education. Because of this, much of the camp was focused on HIV. When introducing HIV, one PCV asked the kids, "Does HIV have a cure?" One student raised his hand and told a story. There was a man who tested positive in a single test. This man then went to the church where he prayed. He got tested again and was found negative. The church claimed credit and can cure HIV apparently. When asked if HIV can be cured through prayer, half of the kids thought it could be. My jaw hit the floor. I was both sad and angry. I am still both sad and angry. HIV is such a big problem here and people are not educated about it. Not even not educated but told wrong information. The kids did not even consider the possibility that the first test may have been a mistake. Grr.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Get a basin...

Soooo school started this week. It began with a slow day. School is supposed to start at ten to eight with an assembly. The assembly started maybe ten after eight with half the student body present. Most teachers did not attend class and i was free to go to the class that I wanted. I was excited to see my kids, especially the kids who I teach health to. My brilliant new idea (crossing my fingers that it works) is to show the kids glee! Glee has hit the peace corps lesotho world like wildfire. I want to show the kids an episode one period and talk about life lessons (teenage pregnancy, drug use, decision making, self image) the next. I hope they understand it.

So the title of the post refers to what happened to me when I got home from school today. I live with an Ntate (means father in Sesotho). His name is Tankiso and he is the greatest host family I could ask for. I have a feeling he keeps me safe in the village. He has sheep and donkeys (I even got to ride one!). He gives me vegetables from his garden and shows me around the village at gatherings and things. Last night he came home late and made a bit of noise. I went to see what was going on. He said all was well (oh ya, his english is pretty limited so we have fun talking. usually we try to say things using my broken sesotho and his broken english and we dont understand so we just laugh) and that he was having a bbq today. When I got home from school, he told me to get a "basin." I was confused, I thought maybe he wanted me to take a bath (its been a while haha). But he went into his house and came out with a plate of sheep liver from a sheep that had just been killed and prepared for bbq. He was giving me the liver as a gift! Problem is, it looked pretty nasty (not old, it was quite fresh but livers kinda funky) and I have no idea how to prepare liver. So I cut it up (holding my nose) and put it in a stir fry with some vegetables. It was actually quite good!

Until next time...