Lesotho is divided into 10 districts. As of this month, I have officially visited all of them!
There are so many ways to categorize the districts of Lesotho: highlands versus lowlands, north versus south, remote versus capital-adjacent. Above all else, my perceptions of each district are personal and shaped by my memories in each place. I want to share what I think of when I think of each district – this is a subjective, non-comprehensive, virtual tour of Lesotho.
Deep South. Sheep in taxis. Pork braai drowning in sauce. The anticipation of crossing the border and heading to Durban. So many paved roads for such a small town. Long bumpy bus rides to Sehlabathebe National Park. Mountains that go on forever. Ancient cave paintings. Tired feet dipped in a cold river.
The Dirty Q. Meat binges on the best chicken in Lesotho. Lazy days in bed with dogs. Hanna’s sunny yellow rondavel. Women with deep voices. Too many bars. Drunks in taxis. Dinosaur footprints that are never open when I try to visit. So many trees. Our car getting stuck in the river.
Peace Corps workshops. Hotel with friends. Most pleasant camp town in Lesotho. Choosing my favorite material at the fabric store. Rocky plateaus.
“Ugh, I hate Mafeteng.” Being jostled and harassed. Swelteringly hot. Stocking up on Chinese food. So many dogs. So many avocados. Bittersweet goodbyes. Driving with my head out the window.
Capital city. Peace Corps office. Travel hub. American food. “Have I ever told you that your site feels like my second home?” Piles of puppies. Good talks at Katie’s tap. Slaughtering a chicken. Waiting on the side of the road for a ride.
Pre-Service Training. “I can’t believe I really live here.” Sunsets and sunrises. Craggy dongas and dry riverbeds. Long hikes with friends. Afternoons drinking cold Malutis. Practicing Sesotho.
First place I set foot. Just passing through. Cheese at the supermarket. Rides from interesting people. Avoiding Maputsoe at all costs. Late night with Basotho friends. Seeing the lights of South Africa.
Foothills. Three tiered waterfall. Sliding down rocks. Braai. Being crammed into the trunk of a venture. Iced guava in the taxi rank. Crowds of children following us around. Listening to Hamilton on the side of the road. Hiking up a mountain to the church on the top. Reading with our feet in the river.
So far away. High altitude marathon. Fog over Sani Pass. Birthday Jameson shots. Herd boys with no pants. Long travel days. Seeing old friends. Running into people I know. Wearing a reflective jacket at the diamond mine.
Home. Winding roads. Long walks with my dog. Snow on thatch roofs. Tea with grandmothers. Peach trees. Coloring with kids. Moonrises over the mountains. Knowing people on the taxi. Seeing friends at the grocery shop. Mangos sold on the side of the street. Carrying water buckets uphill.