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

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Maps and Libraries!

Pictures: us painting maps at my friends school (more details below). In the top picture, I was working on the map and my friends puppy came and slept on my leg! He's just a little white spot in the picture, but I love it!

Hello everyone!! I’m in town for the next two weeks planning a camp that will focus on HIV/AIDS education, career planning, goal setting, and sports/teambuilding games. I’m pretty excited about it. I’m also planning a Men as Partners workshop, which will help men and women work together and look at each other as equals, focusing on the men in Lesotho. Big week! I’m also working on some more literacy workshops and will be teaching at the Lesotho College of Education for a few weeks of July. I am a little overwhelmed, but I would rather be really busy than bored!

Library Updates!

I got an e-mail from Biblionef, an organization based in Cape Town, saying that they sent four boxes of children’s books written in Sesotho!!! They are going to be a great start to all four libraries. I can’t wait to get them. All of the teachers and students are getting really excited, too. I am hoping they get here around the same time our winter break is over, which is August 1. The teachers have been working hard to learn how to incorporate literature into their lessons. The kids get so excited to have me or their teacher read to them. I forget that they do not have constant access to books and are not read at home. It would be great to see kids reading on their own by the end of my two years here.
I also got an e-mail from Darien Book Aid, based in Connecticut, and they are collecting books and will be shipping them as soon as possible!

My mom is going to be organizing a book drive through African Library Project in Pittsburgh when school starts again. This is from their website…The African Library Project partners with volunteers in African communities to create small libraries for African schools and villages. The African Library Project makes it easy for U.S. children to recycle their books in order to share the gift of reading with children in Africa. The donated books are collected in the U.S. through book drives organized by volunteer schools and non-profit organizations. The books are shipped directly to the communities who request them. Check out the African Library video…it’s really amazing and has some footage of Lesotho, as well!


A few of my friends surprised me and sent me e-mails saying they collected some books and are sending them to my mom! So my mom will be working on collecting about 3,000 books, but I wanted to try to lighten the load and raise some of the $1,500 needed to ship the books to Africa. I’m hoping that by starting now, I will be able to collect the money in time to ship the boxes in September. I’ve been getting some amazing care packages and people have been asking what they could send to help the schools. If anyone is interested in helping with the cost of shipping instead of sending care packages or school supplies, that would be really helpful. Each box will cost from $20-$40 to send to Lesotho. My mom will be collecting the money along with the books and will be depositing the shipping funds into my fundraising bank account. If you are interested in helping with the cost of shipping, please e-mail me or send money to my home address. I really appreciate all of the help and support I have received in Lesotho.

In other news, several of my friends and I painted a world map at Tsakholo High School where Kelly, a volunteer in my group, teaches. The map looks amazing. Hopefully a few pictures of the map will be in this blog post. It depends how fast the Internet is today! We are hoping to paint maps at schools all over the country. We have scheduled to visit other volunteers when school starts up again in August to paint more maps. Exciting stuff!! The kids really love looking at the maps. The schools here are pretty bland, so a huge, colorful map really helps to brighten up the school. As we painted, the kids asked us where countries were and asked us where we lived on the map. Hopefully it will encourage them to learn more about the world and want to see more of it.

I hope everyone is doing well! E-mail me with some updates about your summers!!

1006 Deerbrook Lane
Oakdale, PA 15071

1 comment:

Shayna said...

Hey Mike!
I was just looking up the 10 "coolest places on Earth" and look what I found!

"10. Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
The Ngorongoro Crater is the world's largest unbroken, unflooded volcanic caldera and the closest you may come to the Garden of Eden. What's more, and because of its naturally occurring borders, it houses an amazing array of plant and animal life. There is even speculation that life on Earth originated from the extinct volcano. There are lodges and safaris touring the crater, and if you can get your hands on a ticket to East Africa, I'm sure you'll find your money well spent. So, if you want to get up close and personal with zebras, black rhinos, and wildebeest, consider Ngorongoro to be nature's drive-thru safari."

Have you been there? I know that you went to Tanzania. It seems like a really neat place! How far are you from Tanzania now?
Also, is there anything that you need or want sent over? I'd love to send you some mail!! Write in your next post, I'll stop back!!