An Unforgettable Journey the finale

After school ended the first week of June, I was able to focus on a few other things for the school besides my usual duties of fixer-upper and class visitor. The school was interested in getting some new textbooks for reading and some new dictionaries for the classes to share. I had told them since Christmas that I was willing to assist them in buying some new tetbooks and things for the school. Me Malintle, fearing that there may not be another opportunity like this jumped at the chance and finally was able to get a consensus from the teachers on the books that they wanted. I ordered 10 copies of two different English textbooks from SA, 10 Advanced Learners Oxford English Dictionaries, and a single copy of the shorter oxford English dictionary, which was to serve as the authority in the school as to whether a certain word was actually English. I ordered a copy of the shorter oxford from America through Better World Books, a online used book store that is committed to literacy around the world and has free shipping to anywhere in the world. I was so excited when it came in. The other books I was able to buy locally through the different book printers in Lesotho. Besides these new books, I was able also to find around 50 to 60 used childrens books in South Africa that I brought back to the library to at least add a few to the small collection of 500 books. The teachers, though, were so excited when all of these different books came in and they were able to begin using them in their classrooms.

In addition, throughout the year we were able to interact with some different visiting groups, including students from Eastern Mennonite University and Bethel College. There were a couple of different farming conferences, one of which was done through the network that had grown around different farmers from around southern Africa who had started to adopt Farming God’s Way, the name given to the conservation agriculture principles that they used and taught. The other farming conference was through MCC, in which partners of MCC from southern Africa came to Lesotho to continue training and talking about the different problems that each one has encountered in his or her home country. We had some individual visitors also who came from the US, Canada, and Holland just to name a few. I was not always interacting with Basotho, just most of the time. It was always refreshing, though, to speak to a native English speaker who understood, at least partly, where you were coming from and understood things the first time you said them.

At the end of June, we left Lesotho, spent a couple of weeks in South Africa, and returned to America on the 18th of July. About a week later, I was driving home with my parents, wondering if the experience I had had in the past year was only a dream. It seemed so distant and foggy in comparison to the experience I was having here in America. Could two realities like Lesotho and America really exist in our world? If so, am I ok with them both existing in such ways? These questions, I will continue to wrestle with probably for the rest of my life. As you read all of these things feel free to email me and ask questions about the experience that you didn’t quite understand or didn’t line up right. The thoughts expressed in this journey are not necessarily normative for the entire country of Lesotho, but they are my experience.


~ by randallkoehler on December 6, 2012.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: