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

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Projects I'm working on!

Hello everyone! I haven't written in a very long time!!!

The pictures are of me doing my laundry. I waited too long to do it and it took a few hours! Some kids reading books from a small library in my house. Some houses in my village.

I put some pictures on facebook...there are many duplicates and they are in no order, but you should check them out! (If the link is in 2 lines, copy and paste all of it into the www part up top!)


Things here are going really well. School started a few weeks ago and I've been so busy! I spent a few weeks in my village working with the schools and relaxing. I think I just finished my 40th book in Lesotho! My friend Nicole came up and we taught kids in a local preschool and 1st grade how to brush their teeth. A good friend of mine from home sent me toothbrushes and toothpaste for little kids. They loved learning how to brush and promised to brush twice a day! I'll post pictures of that later this week!!

I also met with each of my schools and gave them a box of 80 books, half in Sesotho and half in English. They are going to try using these books before the rest of their library arrives in March! The teachers are so excited to have books to use!! And the kids are excited, too! The teachers have been trying to use the books as often as possible and are teaching their students how to treat the books. It is a great way to prepare them for about 1000 more books to arrive in a month!!

I have been working with the African Library Team here in Lesotho, which is made up of about 6 volunteers. We are working with the Ministry of Education in Botha-Bothe, my district, to develop 25 new libraries in schools that Peace Corps Volunteers do not work. Things are going really well with that! When the books arrive, we will visit each school and provide the teachers and students with a workshop to help them develop their library. We talk about the rules, organization, how to read to the students, and everything else that makes a library successful. I really enjoy working with this project!

I have a meeting with Peace Corps tomorrow to review about 100 children's books that have an HIV focus. I am working with peace corps to buy these books for schools across the country using PEPFAR money. PEPFAR is the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief. I may have that wrong...but it's the right idea! I am really excited about this project. Teachers feel uncomfortable teaching about HIV, so I will be creating a workshop for the schools that have applied for the books to teach the teachers how to discuss HIV in their classrooms. Lesotho has the 3rd highest prevalence of HIV in the world.

Finally, my friends Meg, Nicole, and I have the 2nd of three Healthy Living Camps for our 20 high school students. We have tons of activities, guest speakers, and games planned for them. The kids had such a great time last time and we are hoping to make this camp even better. We have Kick-4-Life coming. They teach kids about HIV through fun games and activities. They are an amazing organization. Lesotho Planned Parenthood Association - will be preforming skits for the kids and helping the kids develop their own skits to take back to their schools. Four great dentists and doctors from the local hospital are coming to discuss oral hygiene, mental health, goal setting, career planning, drug abuse, and a few other things. Another PCV, Alison, is coming to cook dinner with the kids one night. She is a nutrition expert and will be teaching the kids how to make healthy papa (the staple food here. It is ground then boiled maize meal... similar to mashed potatoes i guess!). She is also going to teach them how to make healthy veggies. We will be making a stir fry! Everything she cooks with will be items the kids can get in their village. The final part of the camp will be our other partner, Thabo, will be teaching the students how to do workshops in their village. He attended a One Love conference and learned great activities to promote one sexual partner. He will also be teaching them gender equality and HIV activities for the students to take back to their schools.

Well I'm off to another meeting! Hope things are going well at home and everyone had a nice holiday! I have full weekends from now until October so I will try to keep you updated!


Allison said...

you're an inspiration! keep posting:) miss you very much, I hope you had a great birthday!!

Barbara said...

Hi Mike- I'm Brett's mom. I told Brett how much I loved your ALP video- I passed it on to everyone I know, and they loved it also. Brett said that I should tell you- so I am. I enjoy reading all the PCV posts and hearing what your life is like in Africa.