Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Swearing in

"I, Merrill Nosler, do solemly swear that I will support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will faithfully discharge my duties in the Peace Corps.
So help me God."

This was administered by Ambassador Robert B Nollan, His excellency to the embassy of the United States, Lesotho.

WOO HOO!!!!!

Tomorrow, I move to my site. It begins. And I know that I have all of you to thank. When I get a new address, I will post it on this blog.

Pictures again borrowed by Tara. Thanks Tara.
This is the Peace Corps country director Ted Mooney. He rocks!!!
These are all of the wonderful women trainees. While we're all ready to go to our sites tomorrow, I will miss them very much.
Salang hantle!!!!
Dennis, Check out the picture on Megans blog of her site. She's going to do great work there.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Some fun pictures

First of all, Id like to thank Tara... these are her pictures and she was kind enough to let me post them on my blog. So thanks, Tara, you rock!

This is our last day in the our training village at Ha Soole. They pinned the traditional blankets on us (men and woman wear these instead of jackets) Unfortunately, we didn't get to keep the blankets... they are a nice, warm, heavy wool. But they were cool to wear for a while. And an honor.
From left to right... Oscar, me, Barbara, Lorian, Megan, Kelly and Tara. We all lived in Ha Soole, while the rest of the trainees were split up in 2 other villages.
This is my 'M' e (Mampolokeng) and my abuti Tlotliso. Tlotliso is 6, and easily the coolest kid in the village. Possibly in Lesotho!!!! (My 'M'e rocks too!)
For the last week in the village, we brought some of our stuff to the school every day to go back to Maseru. This is Tom in my basin that I use to wash my clothes. He wanted to demonstrate that he uses his to take a full on bath....
Well, went this last week with our country counterparts to visit our sites. Im in Ha Mohatlane, in the Berea district. Its a cool rural village, with lots of hiking nearby. Yet there is a road where you can easily catch a combi to the local camptown which is only 12 km away. In the camptown there is access to fruits and vegetables... and internet. The best of both worlds. My 3 day visit was fairly uneventful. There was no access to my pit latrine of water for a day, but my counterpart fixed that, so all is well. I have a house with 2 rooms, a tin roof, no electricity, no running water, a bed, a 2 burner gas stove, a gas heater, 2 tables and 2 chairs. Its always cold (and I suspect will be always hot in the summer) Its built of stone, you can see the gaps between the wall and the ceilings.... and I love it!!!!
The NGO Im working for is Lesotho Durham Link. (I think they have a web site) This is a British Based organization with an office in Maseru, and in my village, the goal is youth outreach not only in my village, but going into the other villages. My little home is on a school compound with a primary school, a vocational school (a woman teaches welding... very unusual for Lesotho) permaculture, a church (the organization is part of the Anglican church) and a clinic which is no longer open... but England is trying to raise money to open it up again... and it's needed. After the 3 day visit (for one combi ride there were 23 people in a 15 passenger combi... I had a beautiful 2 yr old on my lap for a while) we came back to the Peace Corps training center in Maseru.
Our language trainers worked with us for a day, and then we had the dreaded language assesment tests... done by people whom we have never met. It was about 15 minutes, tape recorded, and then they went over them one by one to determine if we could speak well enough to get around. I was so nervous.. as were many people, nerves were very taut with many... and, I passed!!!!!! Woo hoo. I get to swear in on Wednesday with everyone else. Whew!!! Today and tomorrow are interviews with the country director and the apcd and her assistant to make sure every thing is all right and we are committed... (hmmm, what should I do) and then wednesday we swear in. Thursday morning, I travel to the Maseru office to meet the rest of the staff for Lesotho Durham Link, and then I make my way back to the village for the next 2 years. Thanks for all the prayers and support. If I can borrow a camera, I'll try to post pictures of my village.
I'll try and post again after swearing in. I hope all is well at home