Saturday, July 28, 2012


This was a good and busy week.  At the same time, it wasn't particularly eventful.  I've been spending a lot of time at work trying to finish up my projects and leave everything well organized.  I finished the employee contract, staff performance appraisal sheet, rules and regulations, and made a lot of headway on a powerpoint presentation about Itjareng.  I was also happy that Mme Pascalina posted a new post on the Itjareng blog without needing help!

I also met with Ntate Mokhotu Letele about the mentoring project that he wants to set up between American students and Basotho students.  I created a google form for volunteers and students to sign up.  The volunteer form can be found here (it is still in beta form).

Oranges.  Mme Moorosi told me a series of funny stories from her work.  Oddly, they all involved oranges.  She seems to work with a lot of fun and good people at the Central Bank of Lesotho.

There is a woman at the office that is selling bags of oranges.  She was selling them at R15 a bag, and took orders from the people in the office.  When the truck came with the oranges, the security guards wouldn't let the truck into the parking lot.  The woman told her coworkers that the truck was parked on the street outside the gate where they could go and make their purchases.  Mme Moorosi quipped, "I don't know Mme, I'm not ready to spend R45 on a bag of oranges.  That is very expensive!"  The woman replied, "I don't now what you're talking about, they are still R15."  Mme said, "I'll be paying R15 for the oranges and R30 to the police for parking there on the street."  Everyone laughed.

Later in the week, after purchasing the oranges, Mme Moorosi was eating them at the office, as were several other bank employees.  Someone noticed that Mme was eating three at once, while the others were eating just one each.  When they made that comment, Mme said, "No, these oranges are very small.  These three are equal to one regular orange.  Many laughed and agreed with her, but the lady selling the oranges was hurt.  Mme promptly sent her a message on Skype, saying, "Mme, I still love you, but your oranges are very small!"

Just yesterday, Mme came home from work and was telling us that a gentleman had just reached his ten year mark at the bank.  When employees complete ten years, they are given a nice bonus.  Recently there were two other gentlemen in the office who completed their ten years.  The first took everyone out to eat at the nice restaurant at Maseru Sun.  The second gave everyone a R50 bill.  Everyone in the office was anticipating what this guy would do for them for his ten years anniversary.  There are twelve in the office, and a bag of oranges contains twelve oranges.  The gentleman, known for being cheap, gave each of them an orange.  There were some that were a bit displeased, although they couldn't complain--the guy didn't actually owe them anything.  Mme Moorosi, always a bit of a comedian, took out her calculator and said, "Ntate, I want to see how much I was worth.  She divided R15 by 12 to see that each orange was R1.25.  She shared the number with all of her colleagues, and then said, "You know what, I think Ntate has done something really good here.  He has set such a good standard for all of us.  Something we can all afford.  In fact, my ten years is two years away, but maybe we can celebrate mine today as well." She went around the room and gave everyone a five cent coin (worth less than a US penny).  Everyone was laughing and enjoying themselves.

I think Mme Moorosi is so funny in the things she says and does.  She is careful not to cause offense (or at least that is never her intent).

Mme Moorosi gave me an orange after dinner the other day.  I was already full so I put it in my backpack for later.  Four or five days later she noticed it was still in my bag.  She was so surprised.  She told me that in Lesotho they eat oranges like candy.  In turn I showed her a candy that had been in my bag for over a month.  That is how I eat candy.  In Utah I recently threw out some candy from Halloween two years ago.  The sweets were in a bag mixed with candies from the last two Christmases as well.

Ironically, one of the candies that my mom and dad sent me for my birthday was orange slices.  The missionaries came over to the Moorosi's for dinner, and I offered to share with them some of my American candies.  They were happy to accept my offer.  I opened the bag of orange slices and passed them around.  Elder Rose and Elder Shaw teamed up on Ntate Moorosi, telling him that they were actual slices from oranges, preserved and sugar coated.  They were so serious about it and were describing the process, so of course he believed them.  I reminded everyone of Mme's words to me--that the Basotho eat oranges like candy.  I then confessed that the orange slices were not real oranges but were just candy, and I said that in America we eat candy oranges.  It was pretty funny.

One of my favorite experiences of the week was visiting Mme Mokeki and her girls.  Mme was baptized in 2008 and has since moved to another village.  It was great to see her and her new place, which she built.  She is a very hardworking woman.  She owns a private primary school (which she runs as principal), a small shop, and she is now getting into the business of selling clothing.  Somehow she also has time to be the mother of three.  Unfortunately I missed seeing her husband, who was out of town.  As well as meeting Mme Mokeki, I was blessed this week to meet Kanono Mofammere and Malesooko Chale, two other church members that I hadn't seen since my arrival.  It is always a joy to be reacquainted with people you love.

Mme Mokeki (back) with daughters (left to right) Relebohile, Tiisetso, and Thato
Tiisetso has the funniest voice ever, I took a video of her singing "Mary had a little lamb" that is just hilarious.

This next week is my last week in Lesotho.  I leave here on August 6th and do a bit of a mission tour for two weeks before returning home.  I will visit Joburg, Polokwane, Mafikeng, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.  It will be a lot of fun, and require a lot of money.  But it's not every day you can revisit your mission.  I'm very excited, and I have the blessing of traveling in a place where I know a lot of people that love me and invite me to stay in their homes. 

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