Last night, near midnight, I opened my door to go to the latrine. I startled a horse tied up ten feet away, glowing in her moonlight silhouette. At dawn, the roosters cuckled through sunrise.
In the early morning, 10 year old Aussi Liketso brought me a bucket of water from the pump roughly 30 mins walk away, and shyly allowed me to give her a big hug and babble in English with excitement. Then we repeated to each other, ‘Ke thabile! Ke thabile haholo!’ [I’m happy, I’m so happy].
Just after breakfast, my ntate brought me over to see our very pregnant pig. ‘She will have them tonight, maybe today, maybe tomorrow. We need to find grass so the piglets can hide and keep warm,’ he announced. He also tells me that there will be two funerals this Saturday. My ‘Mme then absentmindedly looks up at the crystal blue sky, and tells me that there will be snow tomorrow.
Later I walk down to the water pump with my laundry, and the bo ‘mme are cleaning cow’s intestines. A Mme clarifies, “It is because someone has died. The Bo Ntate kill the cows and the sheep, the women kill chickens.”
When it is my turn at the pump, I notice that 8 year old Rapelang has followed me down and she is now keeping me company while I wash my clothes. We practice: ‘How’s it going? I am fine, thank you. How are you?’
At the library that afternoon, Liketso’s mother comes in to welcome me back. I explain, “Ke fihlile moabane bosiu [I arrived last night].” She smiles and nods, and explains further that I arrived at 8:20pm because that is when the car passed by her house. Then she gives me a big hug, walks in and picks up the newspaper. The children are packed inside and outside, playing games and pouring over the new books and magazines.
As the sun sets, I walk home and greet the traditional healer. We are both so happy to see each other, and after another warm hug he asks me, “How was Maseru?” and I answer by wrinkling my nose.
“Nkhang hampe! [It smells bad!]” We laugh, and I promise I’ll be opening the library again tomorrow afternoon, after the funerals.
I just boiled a pot of water so that I can pour it in to my water filter tomorrow morning after it has cooled, and I’m writing this by candlelight. I must be back home in the village.