January 30, 2011

St Lucia

Beach Volleyball, local beer, rum, good people, the ocean


January 29, 2011


My frosty plane:

Driving to the training center:

View from the training center in St. Lucia

So, I made it

I was stuck in Newark airport for a little over 24 hours, but managed to run into G Dogg at like 4am after not sleeping. I am extremely thankful for SATO travel, who organizes government transportation, they made what was a nightmare for lots of other people (waiting hours in line in order to reschedule) really simple (20 minute phone call and they got me a new ticket with a different airline that left the next day). Considering my arrival time, it took almost as long to go from Lesotho to America as it did to go from New Jersey to Miami.
The day before yesterday I arrived in Miami at ~9pm and ate some cuban food at a restaurant before catching some blessed sleep. I woke up the next morning and got on a plane to St. Lucia, drove through the country to where I'm staying now. I met a lot of interesting people thus far, and I'm working on the whole name thing. I did manage to get out for a run this morning, which was great despite sweating for more than an hour after I finished running. We had some introductory meetings this morning and are now free for the weekend. I just finished lunch and figured I'd upload some pictures and just let everyone know that I made it over here OK. I'm not really interested in writing well for this first post, so expect some more interesting writing later down the line.

OK the internet is not cooperating so now pictures at the moment.

January 17, 2011

January 10, 2011


It's been quite a while. I'm stateside again, have been since December 17th. I'm leaving for St. Vincent and the Grenadines on January 27th to serve in youth development on the island of Bequia. I should have internet access, so it's likely that I'll be able to update this thing quite a bit (and I need to work on my writing skills, so expect that to happen).

November 24, 2009

It's been a while

Hey all,
Life is good.
The major shake-up in my life is that the education group that trained my group is now departing/has departed for the states. As a result I now have a lot more friends in the states (and quite a few less here).
As a result of these changes and a few others, I'm now also the only volunteer in the district of Qacha's Nek (~90 of us in country, 10 district) and that's kinda sad, as it means my closest American neighbor is at least 3 hours away. I'm bummed on that, but little else.
I have finished my first year. At some point I hope the internet won't be so slow so I can upload pictures.

till then!

September 5, 2009

Disclaimer: I will eventually post the photos I talked about, but the
internet is painfully slow today, even by Lesotho standards.

bburk@brookdalecc.edu, (732)577-1941, or 104 Juniper Dr. Freehold, NJ

It's been quite a while since I've updated, and believe me it?s not
from lack of things happening. The main reason I haven?t written is
because I feel very distanced from technology in lots of ways (and not
so much in others) but I don?t really enjoy sitting behind computers
like I used to and when I have the option to sit in front of one it?s
probably the first time I?ve seen Americans in a month or two.
Lots has changed at school. We had three teachers quit in the period
around our winter break (remember, the seasons are reversed) which
means 40% or 2/5ths of the staff has left since I joined, I can?t take
responsibility for this, as the last Peace Corps volunteer was at my
school longer than any other teacher. He served 2 years.
Fortunately the three teachers who quit were the three worst at the
school and the three that have since replaced them have been pretty
incredible thus far. ?M?e Ntsatsi graduated from Form E, by the skin
of her teeth, last year (she was, however, the only )one who graduated
last year... the other 15 students failed their year end test). She is
still very shy around the other teachers as a result, I?m sure, of the
fact that quite a few of them probably hit her with sticks for talking
during class just the year before. However, she does lots of work and
gets along very well with the Form A?s and B?s. ?M?e Mphati is
actually my host-sister, who was living in Maseru till she got the
job. She?s very high-spirited and is easily one of the best educated,
motivated and smartest teachers at the school, it?s also nice to have
her around because she knows the deal with PCVs well already. Ntate
Khotso is my favorite of the new group. He?s very well educated, and
spent a fair amount of time in South Africa, so we?re able to talk
about lots of things: he?s a big fan of Wu-Tang and is very interested
in learning chess.
I do want to admit I just had a chuckle to myself imagining some of
the members of my family trying to figure out how to pronounce any of
those names. ;-)
This weekend is the annual district ?ball sports? meet. This means
that all the high school and secondary school children come to the
camp town for the weekend and play soccer, netball, and volleyball.
They also manage to get really drunk and cause lots of problems for
their teachers (who also manage to get really drunk). The first day
finished and my school won the boys and girls soccer matches we played
and lost at netball, which is no surprise considering we don?t have
netball hoops in my area, so they just practice by throwing balls back
and forth. For those not in the know, netball is like basketball with
no dribbling, a short field, and no backboards. Other than that
there?s almost no difference. Here?s a picture (my school?s team is in
the green):
On the home front, the sheep have birthed 3 baby lambs, and I was able
to witness one of the births (and managed to get a little involved).
The next picture could be a little gross (only a little) but this lamb
is not even a minute old, so I figure I?d post it anyway.
The most exciting part of these births is that it marks the beginning
of SPRING! This means the temperature has been consistently higher
than 50 degrees in my rondavel, which is very exciting, during June
and July it never topped 53. The sun is wonderful and has increased my
mood a lot, and now all the peach trees are blooming so there?s bright
pink everywhere. Lesotho really can be beautiful.
I?ve been teaching my brothers how to play Frisbee with the hopes of
them learning Ultimate Frisbee and a potential match being played
here, which I think would be a lot of fun. They really enjoy the game
and a bunch of my students and Bo-Abuti from the neighborhood are
getting really into it.
With the return of spring comes the return of the insects. Fortunately
I took the advice of some fellow PCVs and cut my mosquito netting
(malaria is not a problem in Lesotho, and mosquitoes don?t really hang
out at my elevation, 6,000 feet or so) and used it to make screens. I
also managed to accidentally trap a brown button spider (I think)
which is up there with the black widow, in it. It is one of the
smaller spiders I?ve seen running around my rondavel, but 2 inches for
a spider is nothing to shake a stick at. Again, the picture is not so
great because of the netting being in the way, but it demonstrates the
I?ve been running a lot lately, planning tentatively for the Cape Town
marathon in Easter with the potential to do one or two in the time
before then.
That?s enough for now, here?s a bunch of pictures from the past few months:

July 25, 2009


Hey it's been a while since I have updated. I've been teaching winter classes this past week (My Form C's need the extra work). My girlfriend came through and we had a lot of fun, I'll post pictures at some point (Maybe tomorrow). Sorry I'm bad at blogging as of late. More tomorrow I hope.