I awoke around 4am unable to sleep so I read the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (great book). Around 6am the roosters were 'cock-a-doodle-doo-ing', the nuns were ringing their bell and someone was taking a bath in the washroom beside my bedroom. Dogs were barking, the sun was shining and the day had begun. I curled up in my fleece and rolled over to read more. I finally got up around 8:30am and had a cold shower under a very low pressure stream, but after two days of travel, it felt like the best shower I'd ever had. I wandered around the compound taking photos and listening to music from town.
Andy picked us up at noon. We went to his house, met his 208 chickens and his dog. We hopped onto the highway to visit two craft places. The first was a beautiful store in Hlotse, the Leribe Craft Centre. On our way, we were stopped abruptly by the presence of a very large pig in the middle of the road, who did not seem to care that we were on our way to shop! Kids smiled and yelled and ran alongside the car on the hills. Peach trees lined the roads with their beautiful pink flowers. When they are ripe in November, I was told the entire country smells sweet. People hang the skins to dry on clothing lines and children enjoy the sweet taste of the fruit leather. We stopped in at two craft centres. At the second, the Hatoa Mosi Mosali, where they sell crafts from the members of the crafting cooperative Lesotho Mountain Crafts. I bought many handmade items from the women working so hard there. There were wall hangings, beautiful jewellery, cloth animals, bags and of course, the sweet smiles of adorable children.
We drove to the Blue Mountain Hotel for a drink and saw a little girl wearing a "Miss Sunday School" sash that she was very proud of. We had a great conversation over our drink. In Lesotho, 1 in 4 people are HIV+ which has left 1 in 10 people in the country as orphaned children. I continue to ask, why does no one care? What can we do to make people realize that although in North America, HIV/AIDS is a very treatable chronic disease, this problem has not been taken care of in the same manner in Lesotho. How do we help? How do we let people know about this crisis?
Andy told us about a story of a boy who had cut open his foot. Andy rushed him to the hospital and waited in the emergency room. A nurse later came out to tell they to wait as they did not have the key to the cabinet for the medication to freeze the boy's foot before giving him stitches. After about 45 minutes, a nurse came back out and asked Andy to bring the boy in, and hold him down. Unknowing to Andy, he was to hold the boy down because she needed to give the boy about ten stitches without the freezing. This was not because the medication wasn't available, it was because the key to the cabinet that held the medication was not available. Sometimes in Lesotho, small issues can make for large problems. There are at times, issues of resource and support. In some public hospitals, there may only be five doctors for up to 200 beds.
I think of my nephews and the life they have compared to the life the children in Lesotho face. Why are we so lucky to have been born in Canada? Why are we given the abundance that we have, and the health and wealth is not shared? How is there such inequity in the world? There must be a better way to live. A better way to spread resources. How do we empower, support and educate ourselves to spread health and wealth throughout the world?
For me, it starts with small steps. Take action. Educate myself on what is going on in Lesotho. Go home, fundraise, discuss, share. If you'd like to join me, to learn more about what we are doing for the children of Lesotho, you can read more at our website and you can support these children that you will learn more about over the upcoming two weeks in my blog by becoming a monthly donor or making a donation of any kind to our work here.
As I fell asleep I tried to bring my brain to a lighter place, so I thought of the new words I learned today:
Ntate "en-dod-day" is the word used for a father, man or in place of Mr./Sir
'Mme "may" is the word used for a mother, woman or in place of Mrs.
Ausi "ow-see" is the word used for a younger woman/girl, or in place of sister/girl
Abuti "a-boot-ee" is the word used for younger men/boy or in place of brother/boy
So far I have been called Ausi, but I have been told it's because I am short, small and look much younger than a 'Me.
I look forward to tomorrow- I will be attended church onsite here and visiting the first Foster Home, Lerobane.
Stay tuned...let the adventure begin!