|We did not stay in the main part of the lodge which was a bit pricey for our budget, if not our tastes. Instead we had this chalet which had four bedrooms, three baths and two decks over the river right behind the house. The price for the four of us was less than $100 and it was self-catering which saved us the cost of restaurant meals. Lonely Planet consider Lesotho to be one of the best value destinations in the world.|
|These girls are students at Mamohau High School, the residential school I taught at in the Highlands. The school was not in good shape with many broken windows that still had broken glass on the ground. When I was there the principal was rarely present since he was busy running his private businesses. It appeared that things had gotten worse, at least in the repair of the buildings.|
|Thee are the two classrooms that I taught in most often at Mamohau. The vice-principal disappeared for two weeks and he taught the Form E (like grade 12) English classes, so I had two of those. The Form E math teacher was away sick (not a good thing to hear in Lesotho) the entire time I was there so I taught those two classes. At the end of Form E the kids write the Cambridge overseas exams at the English CSE level. If they pass they can go to the country's university or its college and the government pays. Most students do not pass, with math being the killer subject. Remarkably, the country spends more on education as a percent of its GDP than any other country. They are really trying but there is much room for improvement in teaching.|
|I was really looking forward to seeing this building at Makelefane Primary School which was even higher in the mountains along a 4 x 4 road to a diamond mine. When I was there, two classes were held in a tent (think wedding reception tent) even though it snows up here pretty often. The local people decided to do something about it and started building using only a shovel, a long steel rod to dig rocks out of the ground, a hammer for shaping the rocks, and a long string, made of woven grass, that they used for the layout. The problem was that they had no money for doors, windows, or roof. Our charity, Help Lesotho, agreed to buy these and it was my job to figure exactly what to buy (at a good price) and get it delivered to the mountains. Here is the result (we did not buy the blue paint).|
In contrast to Mamahau, Makelefane showed real civic pride. Everything was impeccably clean and in good repair and since my time there, a new kitchen building (kids are given breakfast and lunch) and new latrines had been built as had a water line from a nearby spring. The principal of this school was a real force of nature and demanded the best from her teachers. Unfortunately she was killed in a car accident a few years ago, but her legacy appears to be in good shape.
|We rented horses and went for a trail ride at Semonkong. Lesotho 'ponies' are famous for their stamina and sure-footedness over difficult terrain. June had a very nice horse. Mine only had one (slow) speed. I asked the guide if mine was old and he said, no, just lazy.|
|We rode our horses to this, the tallest waterfall in southern Africa. You can rapel down the cliff to the left of the waterfall. It is supposed to be the highest commercial rapel in the world (204 m)|