Litaba: 7 June 2007

Gardening lessons from Lesotho pupils
Jun 7 2007
by Abbie Wightwick, Western Mail

SCHOOLCHILDREN in Africa are helping to teach pupils in Wales how to grow vegetables. The charity Send a Cow has launched an educational resource for schools in Wales that aims to get children growing their own vegetables, with help from youngsters in Lesotho. [read more]

Lesotho: I’ll Do Anything to Thump Lesotho – Massa
5 June 2007
Posted to the web 6 June 2007

UGANDA Cranes’ goal-minting machine Geoffrey Massa has pledged to pull all the necessary stops to ensure Uganda makes next year’s Nations Cup finals as group three winners. The 22-year-old’s scorching assurance is being cultivated from the belief that Uganda’s group rivals Nigeria would struggle winning their remaining two qualifiers. [read more]

Dual TB and HIV treatment key to Africa AIDS battle
07/06/2007 12:15
By Paul Simao

DURBAN (Reuters) – African, especially southern African, nations must link tuberculosis testing and treatment with HIV prevention programmes if they are to win the AIDS battle, a top World Health Organisation official said on Thursday. Dr. Kevin de Cock, head of WHO’s HIV/AIDS department, told the Third South African AIDS Conference traditional treatments for Africa’s rampant TB problem could worsen the AIDS epidemic and fuel the spread of the potentially fatal lung infection. [read more]

New hope for the children of Lesotho
By Kate Silverton
BBC Breakfast

Combating the spread of HIV and AIDS in Africa remains a challenge for the entire world. The issue will play high on the agenda at the upcoming G8 summit. UNICEF invited me to Lesotho to take a look at a new initiative to help pregnant women avoid passing the virus on to their babies. [read more]

Rethabile’s Editorial:
There’s a new blog called Lesotho Practicum. Check it out. I read most of the posts and decided that the blog had room for improvement. If you read this, Kathy, what I mean is that your readers are probably more interested in how the Basotho are, not how they differ from Americans or Europeans, cultures that you are used to. Society, culture and language are usually good blogging topics when one’s in a new country.

There are times when I’m shocked by the poverty and undeveloped aspects of the country, and other times when it seems as if it could be a typical city in any part of the world. Some Basotho are dressed very modernly, with their leather jackets and high heels, and then there are others beside them wearing only the Basotho blanket. [source]

The blanketed ones are the real deal, it is them that are the Basotho. The others are a poor imitation of America and Europe. We don’t want Maseru to be like a typical city in any part of the world. No sir. We want it to be a city in Lesotho in southern Africa. Different from London and Los Angeles.

The hotel we stayed at was less to be desired. Apparently showering here is a rarity, as most places are not equipped with such things. I never realized what a luxury bathing on a regular basis was. [source]

That’s a low blow, Kathy, coming from someone who apparently left the very lap of luxury to go “work” with those who are less fortunate. For that is exactly what it is, luck. And even then I think it needs to be qualified, so let’s say it’s financial luck. My people are respectful, patient, understanding and helpful. I can’t say that much for yours. That’s why I felt I had to qualify the bit about luck. You’re rich, and I’m godly. I’m godly, and you’re rich. So what? Does that make one of us better than the other one? You think you’re godly, too? Think again. I at least will readily acknowledge that I’m not (financially) rich.

The reason “most places are not equipped with such things” is that we split dollars, and the bit that everyone has goes for food and other survival necessities. My advice to you is that you should stop criticising my country and feeling sorry for yourself. If you do so, you might learn something about life. I know how nice it is to shock friends back home with how dirty, poor, unequipped, non-western, ad lib, Lesotho is. But that’s not why you’re there, and as for your friends, they’d benefit more from your adventure if you cut out the sensationalism and talked to them about Lesotho and Basotho.

When I was in America (for 7 years straight), I never told my friends about the incredible wasting that goes on in that country, the food fights, the gas-guzzling ocean-liners Americans drive, nor about what I considered awful manners such as the ubiquitous belching, farting and spitting. I did talk to them about language (the southern twang), my host family, food, and other sociocultural matters.

So please start again, Kathy, and post consciously. If the people you’re living among and around read your blog, would they or would they not be hurt? And just so I’m sure it’s clear, saying we’re poor will not hurt us. But going on about how showering is apparently a rarity here will. See what I mean?

I blog here and at Poéfrika.