Peace requires the simple but powerful recognition that what we have in common as human beings is more important and crucial than what divides us. ~ Sargent Shriver
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Going Away Party
On June 29 our co-workers held a community going away party for Wes and me. It turned out to be so much more than we ever expected. They made sure to invite every group of people we have interacted with in Ha Sekake including the SMARTD staff, our youth team, the police officers, the staff at the schools, and all of Wes’ computer students. Several of the attendees gave speeches about what having us here has meant to them. It was a very moving and emotional experience for everyone. We were given an opportunity to give our own speech at the end. It is truly hard to put into words what these two years, this country, and these people have meant to us. We told them that two years ago we left our family in America, but that they have become our family in Lesotho. It makes it difficult because we are having to leave our family again, just this time we don’t know when or if we will ever be back. We thanked everyone for their overwhelming support and encouragement of us during our time here, and for their hard work and dedication that made the projects we have had together such great successes. Each and every person that we have built relationships with in Lesotho has shaped us in some way, and I wish I could fully express how grateful I have been for their friendship, patience, and love. It was really nice to be given a public forum to thank everyone for everything they have given us, even if our words seemed so insufficient to fully express how we feel. At the end of the speeches we were presented with two Basotho blankets as a token of the community’s thanks for the work we have done here.
Of course, after the formal ceremony, the real party began! It wouldn’t be a true Basotho party without a ton of food, alcohol and dancing.
It was great having four other Peace Corps volunteers (Janelle, Shanelle, Carol and Shane) come to the party with us. It was really nice of SMARTD to include them in the festivities.
It was also nice to get some final pictures with friends from the community.
Overall it was a great way to celebrate the last two years. I am so thankful to SMARTD for going so out of their way to provide such a nice, thoughtful and really fun party for us. It will definitely be one of my favorite memories from our time here.
I will leave you with one of my favorite things from the party…
DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS!!
If you want to see the rest of the pictures from the going away party, they can be found here.