Ha Sefako, Butha Buthe, Lesotho
I graduated from Penn State and currently live in Lesotho, Southern Africa as I serve in the Peace Corps!

My Lesotho Videos

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I would like to introduce you to my friend Mr. Pee Bucket

What a week! Although some of this blog post is embarrassing, I am keeping our motto T.I.A. (This Is Africa) in mind. We refer to it when anything goes wrong or when really embarrassing things happen!
This was the first week that I was responsible for cooking for myself and many of my vegetables went bad because I didn’t use them! I can’t blame it solely on poor planning, though. On Tuesday morning, I didn’t feel great when I woke up, but figured I would feel better when I got to school. I only had a little bit of oatmeal for breakfast and had planned on having a big lunch. By 10:00, I had a very upset stomach and decided to go home to sleep. Four days later, I am finally feeling better and am not going to the bathroom almost every hour. When we first got to Lesotho, the Peace Corps told us about all of the things we would need to survive during our two years here. I couldn’t understand why they insisted on us having a “pee bucket.” Now, however, I completely understand and can’t live without it! I think I’ve said before that we really aren’t supposed to go outside at night, even to use the latrine. I didn’t think it was a big deal and wasn’t worried about it. On Tuesday night, I found myself laying in bed at 2AM thinking, do I use my bucket, knowing that everyone in my house will know exactly what is going on, or do I sprint out to the latrine and get in trouble for leaving. I am so happy that I made the decision to use the bucket on that first night, because it was the first of many times in only 3 nights! I couldn’t keep my mouth shut about it the next day, so when I retold the story, I was welcomed into the Peace Corps by several of the current volunteers!

With all of that said everyone else in my group has been really helpful. I helped out as much as I could during the workshop that we had planned, but my friends really covered for me. During most of the first day, I only spent about 20 minutes at a time in our workshop. Most of the teachers there noticed me racing to the latrine and realized that I wasn’t feeling well. Every time I saw them they rubbed their stomach and said something in Sesotho!

My computer is almost dead and a really loud thunder storm just came rolling in, soooo… Tomorrow we are hiking Thaba-Bosiu. I am not really sure what we are doing, but I heard it was a great time! After that, I will find out my site for the next two years! We will get to see video of our hut and will find out more about it. I can’t wait to see which volunteers, if any, are close to me! By the time I post this, I should be able to write about that!

UPDATE! Obviously I figured out my USB drive! I am still working on pictures though! my phone number is.... 001 266 59166881. I am not so positive about the first 2 area codes. the 001 is to get out of the US and 266 is to get into Lesotho...dad, if this is wrong, can you post the real number? CALL ME!! We are 7 hours ahead of Pittsburgh.
Next, I found out my site! I will be living in a village called Ha Sefako. It is in Botha Bothe. I am very excited! I have a very small house, but that is Ok. Some people have really amazing places with hot water and electricity, butttttt whatever. There are 5 people in my district and it is about a 2 hour bus ride from Maseru.

Hope everyone is doing well!!!! Miss you all so much! I can't believe it is snowing where you are and I am sweating my face off here! I should be back on here next Saturday and will be back together as a group at our training place on Christmas Eve. OH! I posted i think 2 more posts below this, so check them out! Hopefully pictures and a wish list of things that would be great to have here will be posted next week!!!!


Anthony said...

Lumela! I'm Anthony, AKA Katleho, and I served in Ha Sefako in 2006 and 2007. It's a gorgeous place, and you're right next to a border crossing! (as close as you can be I guess, even though it's up the steep side of a mountain ;)) Congrats, and don't give up on that pee bucket. I'll be in touch!

-Katleho Sefako

Chelsea said...

Michael, I MISS YOU SO MUCH! It sounds like you are having a great time and I can not wait to see pictures of where you are. Why are you not allowed to go outside at night? Was it weird going to the bathroom in the bucket? Ha Your blog cracks me up everytime I read it. I am sure the the people out there already know how special you are. Ok I miss you and Love you. BYE

Tara Lang said...

I get very worried if you don't blog often, I guess I will have to get use to it, cause I bet it's hard to get on the internet. Anyways...you and the Pee Bucket! hahahaha I'm glad you are feeling better though, it has to be rough being sick there. But I wish we could talk to laugh about it! Which brings me to...I tried to call you this morning as soon as I saw the number, but it told me the call Failed. :( I don't know if it's the number or just me...so maybe you or your dad could help me out! I was so excited to talk to you then the stupid phone beeped at me. Well until I figure out how to call you, try to update with pictures, I want to see all the places you are talking about. Miss you tons and always thinking about you! <3 love ya

Anthony said...

To help alleviate your fears of the cell phones (I hope), they work a little strange in Lesotho/South Africa. If he has it turned off or it goes out of signal range (happens pretty often in Lesotho), or if he switches sim card service, it might tell you on the American end that the phone number does not exist, or that the subscriber is unavailable. However, if you send a text, and you leave your phone on, Mike's phone will automatically pick up to receive the text as soon as it registers that he has signal. Also, I understand that making international calls can be tricky with certain American service plans, land or cell. In general though, I believe you dial 00-266 and then Mike's 8-digit Lesotho number. It should function the same for texting.
And yes, with internet service, he'll probably have to be in a cafe (or very near one if he has wi-fi) and those only really exist in the camptowns. If you want to talk to someone about dealing with time lapses between communications I can give you more information about other PCV's and/or their families if you like. Hope that helps!


Chelsea said...

Ok Michael, so after I read your blog about the bathroom bucket I went to see the move Role models and wouldn't you guess that a man was using a bathroom bucket in the woods. LOL i almost peed my pants I was laughing so hard because I bet you looked the same way.

lil bro said...

mike, love your blogs, too funny!! miss you

love sean

Allison said...

Michael, how i miss you. I have to agree with everyone at how funny your blogs are!!! It's like I can hear you saying the things you are writing, its hysterical!! Anyway, it sounds like you are having a fantastic experience and eventhough i miss you SO much I know you are doing something really incredible. I go to call you about three times everyday and then realize that your in AFRICA haha but I am going to try that number you gave us... anyway I miss you and hopefully get to talk to you soon!!

Gram D. said...


You sound like you're in such good spirits! We miss you, too.

We were excited today because we got your letter. It took a
month to get here though but it was great to hear from you.
We read your blogs all the time & the comments from everyone
& we love the pictures. Keep up the good work, we are so proud of you.

Stay safe & hopefully we will talk to you on Sunday at our Christmas party here.

Love you,