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

Monday, January 12, 2009

Hello from Qwa Qwa, South Africa!

My friend and neighbor Phil and I took a day trip to the next town over, which happens to be in South Africa. We planned on crossing the border to shop at a huge grocery store to get some cleaning supplies (with heavy bleach), food, and other stuff to get my house ready. We left this morning at 7, hoping to be in Qwa Qwa by 8, if not earlier. Usually there is a bus that takes people to the border, so we figured we would walk until the bus passed us. We walked for about 2.5 hours when the bus finally got to us. We assumed we were close, so we just kept walking. While we walked, we passed 2 of the schools where I’ll teach. The first was about 1-hour away and the next was at least 1-hour further! We saw the village that we think the school is in, but couldn't see the school because of how high the village was. I don't know how I am going to feel about rock climbing at 8AM!

I hope everyone is doing well at home! I will be visiting a larger town next weekend to get some food and will try to write a more interesting post then!

A little history lesson on QwaQwa from Wikipedia:

QwaQwa was a Bantustan, or homeland, in the eastern part of South Africa. It encompassed a very small region of 655 square kilometers (253 sq mi) in the east of the former South African province of Orange Free State, bordering Lesotho. Its capital was Phuthaditjhaba. It was the designated homeland of more than 180,000 Sesotho-speaking Basotho people.

QwaQwa means whiter than white, from the Sesotho language, referring to the many sandstone hills of the Drakensberg mountains in which the area is situated. In Afrikaans it was known as Witsieshoek, after the name of a farm.

Two clans lived in the region, the Bakoena and the Batlokoa. In 1969, according to Franc M.A. Van Diest at, they were united and the area was named KwaKwa. In the same year, Van Diest said, the name was changed to QwaQwa to avoid an ethnic identification.

On 1 November 1974 QwaQwa was granted "self government". On 27 April 1994 it was reunited with South Africa, together with the nine other homelands. The Chief Minister of QwaQwa throughout its period of self government was Kenneth Mopeli. It is now part of the Free State province.



Maria said...

hey qwa qwa when can you talk on the phone again?
Im ready to talllk qwa qwa. :) oh and..when people ask were you are in africa what do I say now? qwa qwa south africa not lesotho? k thankkkks!

Allison said...

hi michael! I also, along with maria's post,would like to know when you can talk on the phone... MISS YOU!

Miss Rhyne said...

Yes, well, you don't know me but I was googleing Qwa Qwa, South Africa since I will be going there in July on a two-week missions trip. I am traveling with a group of 8 to do some work in Qwa Qwa but then was also researching addition "non-work" related activites that we could do within reason. Any suggestions?