by ryan on October 31, 2011

First off, there are new pictures.  Click here.

Covers the Botswana adventure(animals, cut feet, and salty hoodrat things,in summary), as well as some pictures from the school, especially of the library, which i’m particularly proud of.

Why this sudden outburst of generosity after i’ve been so quiet for so long?  In a word or four, telephone businesses are dumb.  Vodafone, the network that is supposed to be the most reliable in Lesotho(but really it’s the least reliable and it charges you for all of the texts that it doesn’t send for you), has decided to make all of its airtime purchases expire on a monthly basis, meaning this huge chunk of airtime on my modem is useless as of tomorrow.  Wasted cash.  This is is a small victory in the sense that I get to squeeze get the last few dastardly pennies out of his swath of airtime before it expires tomorrow.  Enjoy!

As the end of my service approaches, i feel like things are rounding out nicely.  I have one of the latest C.O.S.(close of service) dates and will be ending my time in Lesotho enjoying the holidays here.  It should be spectacular.  Khotso didn’t win the October election but the next best guy did, so i’m pretty pleased anyways.  The new guy should be able to move things in a  better direction for Ha Lejone.  Keep the prayers coming for these guys.

I’m not sure if they’ll get a new volunteer or not, as there’s two times as many sites since the last ED group didn’t come.  If they don’t get one this year, hopefully next year.  The staff deserves the support…so long as certain changes are made at the school.  There’s also a great site near me(about an hour south) called LaGhetto(haha…nonono it’s prounounced La-kay-too) and they have been doing great things since i’ve been here so I think they really deserve a volunteer as well.

I had some of the new Education group visit me last week for site visit, and they are a fine group of people.  I got a good chance to meet most of them on the way up from their training villages.  Lucky me, I had two girls, both of them were fantastic.  My staff room was asking a million questions about them today after being shy the whole time they were visiting.  They left a good impression, though, and my staff are hoping they can be so lucky as to have one of them nearby in the future.

A quick blurb about Botswana…the country is incredibly developed and distributes its resources beautifully.  Thirty-five years ago, it was one of the poorest countries in Africa.  After discovering its great mineral wealth the country has been able to flourish.  Crime and corruption are taken very seriously and people are hung for what would seem to many as petty crimes.  While the merits of this are questionable, you can’t argue with the results.  You can tell as soon as you cross the border that you are in a country that is a little differently developed than most others.  At one point we even saw a ‘Psychiatric Hospital’ that no doubt puts any facility in America to shame.  Since corruption is so little, Botswana also gets some of the highest volumes of aid money in Africa…when you smooth that money, along with the natural mineral wealth and the reasonably successful tourism of the country, over with a small population(1.8 million…the same as Lesotho), you get a country where virtually no village that wants electricity is without it, and water is always just a stones throw away.  It’s magical what they’ve been able to do there.  I felt like I was in Disneyland, not able to believe my eyes.

Speaking of not being able to believe my eyes…in Kisane, we stayed with a peace corps volunteer.  I ended up visiting his next door neighbors…Upon opening the gate, i couldn’t help but notice a huge ford 350 pickup truck in the driveway.  I heard some gently ringing chimes and saw an all-too familiar maroon-and-white insignia.  I was greeted with a huge glass of sun-steeped sweet tea and a number of smiles and huge chunks of Aggie gold on everyone’s fingers.  They were missionaries who had been working in southern Africa on and off over the last 20+ years.  Great family who made me feel right at home.  Aggies.  Across the ocean.  Serving me sweet tea and telling me stories like I had been part of the family since day zero.  The world really is a small place.

Anyways, that’s it for the updates for today.  Maybe with this new monthly expiration deal on the interwebz i’ll be forced to update more often!?  Wouldn’t that be nice?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathryn Jewell October 31, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Nice story,now cut your hair, and shave!!!! LOL I love you…Momma Bear

Meredith October 31, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Hi Ryan,

Loved the photos! The ones of you guys in mid air are very cool!

The library looks awesome, you should be proud! Job well done!!

Your last months in country will soon wind down from months to weeks, enjoy the days while you have them!

All my best,

Susan Whitener November 2, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Great pictures! The animal pictures were fantastic. Loved the salt flat photos..

Kimberly Blair December 15, 2011 at 8:14 pm

You’ve had such a wonderful adventure. I love reading your blogs. We miss you and look forward to seeing you after your the next chapter in adventure across Africa. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you and your friends.
Love and hugs, Kimberly

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