Lumela Bomme le BoNtate,
Today marked the end of a productive week, and we have so many things of which we are proud...
At the elementary school, all of the classrooms were finished with miraculous images that will serve as visual learning tools for the students in years to come. The intricacy and precision of images such as a world map, a map of Lesotho, the digestive system, a bird, and so much more showcase the incredible talent of our group. Both the principal and a teacher, who came to see the classrooms for the first time today, were completely overwhelmed with excitement and emotion upon seeeing the finished paintings. Having completed all 7 classrooms, we all felt a sense of relief for having finished everything in 5 days as well as satisfaction for the impact it is making/will make on the school.
Meanwhile at the Habitat worksite, 18 of us worked hard to complete the roof and internal wall of the house before the opening ceremony. A Lesotho and Habitat for Humanity tradition, the ceremony is an opening celebration to welcome the family to their new home. During this event, several important figures are asked to speak, including a student representative (Rachael Fink) and Dr. Rosenberg as our team leader, who all expressed thankfulness and gratitude for the work that was accomplished. Following the speeches, Habitat for Humanity awarded every Wittenberg volunteer a certificate of appreciation; we were very surprised and humbled by their thoughtfulness. The most amazing part of this whole project was that we had the opportunity to build this family a house which they can now turn into a home.
Looking past the incredible experience of this week, we came to realize that we learned so much more than how to build a house or how to paint a school; we also learned about the culture, language, and traditions of the Basotho because of our interactions and conversations with many incredible children (Bana) and adults (Bomme, BoNtate).
Now onto what we (Rachael Fink and Amy Brennan) believe to be the best part of our experience here thus far. Spoiler alert, it was today!! Just kidding... Our favorite part was not a specific moment, but rather a progression of moments. Every day at the worksite (we both spent 4 days building) our relationship with the craftsmen, who worked alongside us and taught us everything we now know, grew stronger. Much like the building of the house, by the end of the week, our friendship was rock-solid. After the ceremony, all but three of us left the worksite. The two of us and Hannah Bowman stayed behind with Dr. Rosenberg to finish as much as we could. For Amy, that meant climbing back up the scaffolding to finish installing the roof. For Hannah, that meant applying more mortar to the space between the bricks and the roof. And for Rachael, that meant learning to plaster the inside walls. We had a blast learning as many new Sesotho words as we could, which meant we entertained the craftsmen as we attempted to pronounce and retain the words. It was a difficult goodbye, but a wonderful end to the week.
Thanks for tuning in to our lengthy but hopefully enjoyable blog!! Have a wonderful weekend! Tsamaea hantle!
-Rachael Fink '20 and Amy Brennan '21
Enjoying all the updates & photos! It sounds amazing from what each of you relays but I’m sure what each of you experiences it so much more!
Thank you for the heart felt sharing of your experiences so far and the ways they have touched you. Through all of you we feel a connection to the people of Lesotho as well. Hope your weekend includes rest and some more fun. You are missed here at home, but we are grateful to know you are safe and seeing the blessings of your efforts and friendship.