Monday, May 2, 2011

Easter Vacation

May is here and the weather is cold. What a difference it is from the states! Normally my birthday month is full of sunshine and fresh flowers. Here in Lesotho it's marked with frost and the end of tank tops. I thought I was excited to break out the winter hats, gloves, and scarves, but that excitement ended when I remembered I'd also have to watch movies from the comfort of my sleeping bag, and bake cookies just to heat up the hut. Ahhhhh.....African winter. I'm going to purchase a small gas tank just for my heater so I can at least attempt to stay nice and warm.
The transition into winter was made even more difficult since I spent my Easter holiday on the beaches of the Eastern Coast of South Africa. Karolina, Parker, Chris Jones and I spent about a week in the small town of Cintsa. Our hostel was beautiful, right on the water, and every night they offered a free wine activity! Vacation doesn't get much better than that! Chris Jones and I met Parker up at his site in Mokhotlong and we traveled down to SA via Sani Pass. I knew Sani was in the mountains, but I had NO IDEA how terrifying the trip down would be! The three of us were stuffed in the back seat of a combi (public taxi) driving STRAIGHT DOWN the face of a mountain. The switch backs seemed to be never ending. At one point we stopped for an overheated radiator, and then again for a blown out tire. There were about 5 b0-ntate (men) working as conductors for just this one taxi! I was convinced that something would go wrong and we would plummet to our deaths. I'm normally pretty afraid of heights, but I've experienced some bad roads in Lesotho. I thought I was beginning to overcome my fears. Nope! My leg was shaking and had I had the Sesotho skills to speak to the driver I would have explained that I'd walk down and they could pick me up at the bottom. Instead I rode it out. The boys found my fear pretty amusing, but were supportive still. Once we were safely on flat ground I was relieved and ready for a cold beer. I will NEVER drive over Sani pass again, but I'm happy to have had the experience. I just wish I wouldn't have been so scared so that I could've taken some photos of the road.
In total we took 2 and 1/2 days to reach the town of Cintsa. We were traveling on a public holiday using public transportation. No matter how early you wake up you can only get so far! Plus, we went up through Mokhotlong and over Sani which took extra time, but I'd promised Parker I'd visit his site again. On the return trip we smartened up and came through the south of Lesotho. I've now been t0 9 of the 10 districts in Lesotho. YAY!
My amazing grandfather sent me a new camera so I've got LOTS of pictures to post. I'm now going to attempt to put up some pics from our Easter vaca. However, I always struggle with this part of the blog process. Here's hoping.......................................Didn't work :( I'll keep trying.


  1. So nice to hear about a fabulous vacation! I would have been right there with you on the pass! I have gotten out of a vehicle to walk in the past! :-)

    Can't wait to see LOTS of pics when you get back!

  2. Hi Haley,

    With fear of heights, I am impressed you drove to Sani! From pictures that Parker has sent from his past trips up there, I get anxiety just looking at them! The last time we were in Boulder together we drove up the mountains (not even the big ones) and I did not enjoy it all. Nor did the other people in the car with me! Safe to say I would not attempt a trip to Sani. But I am happy that you survived and although it was not the most pleasant experience, at least you can say you went to Sani. It does look like a cool place.

    I am disappointed that your pictures did not download, the Wild Coast sounds beautiful. It must have been great to spend a week at the beach.

    How is your dance club?

    And, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Not sure exactly what day it is, but I hope you have a good one!

    Keep warm! And be well!

    Xoxo Meredith

  3. Thanks Meredith! Sani was an experience, if nothing else. Your adorable beanies kept us all warm, and SOMEDAY I'll get a picture of us wearing them on here for you to see.
    The bday is the 17th and it sounds like I may spend it moving from one hut to another. Mine is cracking, but luckily my family has two. Hoping I can somehow avoid the move.
    Dance club was put on hold due to the students needing to rehearse for singing competitions the past few weeks, but we should be back on track by next week. Thanks for asking :)
    I tried to get Parker to cut his hair while on vacation, but he refuses. You should talk to him about that!
    Thanks for reading!!!


    I hope you have a nice day and that the coming year brings you fun adventures, good health, and much happiness.

    Cheers to your big day!

    xo Meredith

  5. Hi Haley!

    Thanks to peace corps journal dot com I just saw the Friday video on youtube! It is AWESOME! Actually watched it twice! And I am sure I will watch it a few more times!

    From photos Parker has shared with me, by face & name I recognize you, Joey, & Sara.

    Everyone looks like they had a lot of fun and the sounds from the crowd sound like they enjoyed it as well.

    Hope all is well and it is hard to believe that you and the rest of the group are down to the last 3 months of being in Lesotho. Time seems to have gone by fast.

    Take care.

    xo Meredith