From the mountains to Morija and back again
Last weekend we decided to venture down from our mountains home in search of adventure, our journey (5 hours , 19 people & a baby on a 14 seater minibus) took us to the small town of Morija- known as the location of the first church in Lesotho and the site of the Lesothosarus footprints.
We were welcomed into the Morija Guest house and shown to our lodge where we very quickly felt relaxed, sitting on the veranda adding our books overlooking a local playing field full of children playing sports and in the distance the amazing mountains that optimise Lesotho life.
On the Friday we visited the local museum and met up with the Hijinx team from Wales who were performing their show created with students from Maseru for local school children- it was inspiring to see how well the group worked after such a short time together and to see how warmly their work was received by the Basotho children.
On Saturday we decided we had to see the dinosaur footprints for ourselves, so off we went in the hands of our knowledgeable guide on a rather grey day to see what we could find. After a short walk we came to a dam where a local man was fishing for cat fish, from here our walk became more of a climb to reach the dinosaur footprints. It was worth it- nestled in the hillside was a huge boulder with perfectly preserved prints! Sion then decided he wanted to walk the ridge that we had been looking up at for the last few days (which he had affectionately nicknamed 'Mount Doom!'... So after a short decent off we went again. On the way we saw some beautify scenery (waterfalls and trees) and met some very friendly Basotho walkers.
A short while later we emerged at the top of the mountains to find many sheep a full village and breath-taking views.
After such a restful weekend we began our journey back to Thaba Tseka. Having been told it may be tricky to travel on a Sunday, we were pleasantly surprised to quickly find a taxi... Shortly after, we realised that though we were on in a taxi, it may not be a speedy ride- our taxi spent the next hour cruising the local area for passengers. This did allow us to see some more of the local area including the Royal residence and also to listen in the the local radio show which was reminding us repeatedly the spend "Quality time!"
When we arrived in Maseru we were chivvied through the local market onto a large coach to begin our ascent into the mountains. On the plus side, we had more space (and quieter music) but after about two hours there was an almighty bang. Having checked that nothing was broken or hanging off, the driver continued (with an added rattle) and several hours later we made it to Thaba Tseka.
St David's Day
Having made it back in one piece, we began preparations for the week ahead (St David's day). Being away from Wales for St David's day, I felt I wanted to give the children of Katlehong a taste of the celebration and the activities that we might do at home.
This was easier said than done however given the size of the school and there were times during the week that I felt I'd possibly taken on a task that was too great- hand printing with 400 children in one morning for example and trying to get into each of the 12 classrooms in 2 days to complete a range of activities.... But the long days and evenings paid off, the children were full of pride sharing their learning with the rest of the school in today's celebrations.
It wouldn't be a true Welsh St David's day without a taste of welsh weather... As the Grade 5's performance of Bedd Gelert drew to a close, the heavens opened, bringing our celebrations to an early end! Grade 6 and 7 who had worked so hard to create their work ( castles, welsh facts and comparisons between Wales and Lesotho) were more than a little disappointed to find they wouldn't get their moment to shine... Secretly I am a little please... It means we can carry on the celebrations into another day!