I haven’t posted in a while because I just returned to TTL today after spending two weeks on vacation, traveling through South Africa and Lesotho with two of my brothers, Conor and Casey.
Throughout our trip, our rapid transitions between Third World conditions and First World conditions — between Lesotho and South Africa, but also within South Africa itself — stood out, as did the quite obvious, physical separations we noted between the neatly lined official towns in South Africa and the dilapidated shanty towns on their outskirts.
We also enjoyed our time immensely — among other things, we did the “World’s Highest Bungee Jump” off Bloukrans Bridge — and I was glad to be able to show my brothers Mokhotlong and TTL.
When I got back to TTL today, I was surprised — just as I was in September, when I returned from a short trip to the states — at how the babies in our care seem to have changed and recovered greatly in just two weeks.
When you see them every day, their recoveries seem far more gradual. Skipping two weeks, they seem as rapid as they are — the kids fatter and more lively. Retsepile in particular seems a chunkier, happier baby overall.
We also have a new pair of twins here who were born at the beginning of the month: Thabelo and Ithabeleng. They are the first new clients in the safe-home in 2011, and are tiny, tiny, tiny. Thabelo is just over 5 pounds, while Ithabeleng is just under 5 pounds.
It feels good to be back after so much traveling. I’m at home again, and the fact that TTL has become that for me is now more apparent than ever.
It’s hard to believe that I now have less than a month to go in my year-long fellowship, that I’ll be moving back to my other “home” soon. I’m sure that fact is going to cause some conflicting emotions as the deadline looms closer.
For now, though, I’m just happy to see those fat faces. In the next month, I think I’ll be sneaking into the playroom more than ever.
The TTLF Fellow is a representative of the North American organisation Touching Tiny Lives Foundation. Based for one year in Mokhotlong, Lesotho, the TTLF Fellow serves in an administrative support capacity for the Basotho charity Touching Tiny Lives (TTL).