On a day-to-day basis here in Mokhotlong, little, random thoughts seem to pop into my head and stick there. They are miniature observations of life that have enormous staying power in my own growing conception of my surroundings here. They are lessons of a sort and everyday reminders that make me laugh. Some are important, others aren’t. But I figure they are worth sharing.
So, here is the first entry of Sticking Points from TTL, which I might turn into a regular series on the blog.
1. Toddlers are easily amused after lunch. Not so much before.
2. True to their reputations, sheep are blind followers, donkeys are stubborn and bulls are aggressive. These traits are most clear from behind the wheel of a car.
3. It’s extra important to check if the gas tank is full when driving to a place where gas stations don’t exist.
4. When you speak English to a 3-year-old girl who only speaks Sesotho, she might think you are speaking gibberish and respond in kind. Adults who speak Sesotho can confirm this.
5. Bisquick pancake mix, Boboli pizza crust and bottled spaghetti sauce are luxuries, but food from scratch always tastes better.
6. Cinder blocks can be used for lots of things.
7. Life goes on despite the lack of paper towels.
8. Low in the Southern Hemisphere, the moon sprints out of the horizon.
9. “Pologna” is not as good as bologna. It’s also more orange.
10. Older toddlers will pinch smaller ones when they feel it is deserved. The urge to reprimand such an action diminishes exponentially when it is, in fact, kind of deserved.
11. The best way to endear yourself to a child who is scared of you is to accidentally hurt yourself.
12. Dangerous-looking dogs are scared of getting rocks thrown at them. Thus, rocks are good.
13. Coloring is an enjoyable activity for 2-year-old boys. So is eating crayons.
14. A 4-year-old boy is better at keeping his family’s dog away from his food than a stranger could ever be. This is because the little boy can punch the dog in the face, while the stranger most certainly cannot.
15. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to run at full speed in gum boots.
16. Animals outside your rondaval can sound like they are in your bed with you, given the direction of the wind.
17. The sun is really efficient at drying clothes. Rain is really efficient at making them wet again.
18. Shy malnourished children can turn into gregarious healthy children.
19. As a foreigner in Mokhotlong, everyone on the street wants to know who you are, where you are coming from and where you are going – especially other foreigners.
20. Children who are never told that bruised bananas are bad do not come to that conclusion on their own.
The TTLF Fellow is a representative of the North American organisation The Tiny Lives Foundation. Based for one year in Mokhotlong, Lesotho, the TTLF Fellow serves in an administrative support capacity for the Basotho charity TTL.