Elena here, Lauren’s research assistant.

The Blue Roller Skate

The Blue Roller Skate

Being my first time in Lesotho, or Southern Africa for that matter, so much is new. Foremost, the people are so friendly. Each person Lauren introduces me to greets me with a warm hug –shop owners, waitresses, old colleagues. We’re staying with a Basotho friend of hers, Me’ Zinia. Me’ is a respectful term for a woman, like mother. It’s so nice to spend our time here in Me’s home. She opens our windows when we’re out during the day and closes them and turns on our heaters at night so our rooms are nice and toasty when we get home. She works at the local casino, we have opposite hours so we don’t see much of her but when we do it’s all smiles and cheer.

Lauren showed me around central Maseru today– the capital of this small country landlocked in S. Africa. It’s safe and easy to get around in. Some roads are paved and others are dirt with big potholes but the blue roller-skate (our awesome ride) perseveres. Most of the time when we reach for the indicator we hit the windshield wipers but at least we’re sticking to the left side of the road.

The weather has been chilly but sunny. Peak winter is approaching in July/ Aug so our timing isn’t as synched up to the coldest temperature as I anticipated initially. We’ll be up in Leribe next week though and it’s certain to be chillier up there in the mountains.

Overall, I’m pleasantly surprised with how safe I feel in Lesotho. The people couldn’t be more welcoming. On our way to Lesotho from Johannesburg last weekend, we were pulled over by a cop. I instantly thought they were going to ask us for a bribe. To my surprise, Lauren broke out in beautiful Sesotho (the language spoken in Lesotho) and her and the officer had a pleasant exchange. Then we went on our merry way. Lauren said that kind of stop was routine. Interactions like these have put my mind at ease and helped me enjoy this amazing culture and experience.

One Comment

Marian posted on June 5, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Elena, So glad that you are there with Lauren! You’re in for quite an adventure! It’s great that things are progressing so well.

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