Oh. Shh! Listen to me! I’m going to write about this topic.
Yesterday my school celebrated Moshoeshoe (mo-shway-shway) day. Moshoeshoe day is a national holiday here on March 11th to honor the first King of Lesotho Moshoeshoe I. Our school went to a nearby village and participated in a track competition with 6 other schools to celebrate. I have been to plenty of school sporting events in America but I wasn’t sure what to expect here in Lesotho.
The cheering started when the bus first appeared on the road heading towards the school and it didn’t end all day. This bus driver was like most bus and taxi drivers here in that he loved to blast the music. The kids were up and dancing and waving out the windows for the whole hour plus ride to Pobeng. The vigor increased as we got closer to Pobeng and created a caravan with the other school buses on their way to the event.
When we arrived the girls, preforming a dance before the races started, quickly changed into their outfits.
All the schools in attendance had a group of students preform a traditional dance. Some had girls perform in other schools boys preformed. All the students did great but I was especially impressed by the boys. I think its because I though about trying to get a group of boys (ages 12-16) in the states to practice and perform a dance in front of a crowd. I don’t think it would go well. But here it is part of their culture. All kids grow up seeing others perform the dances and they seem to be able to sing some of the songs before they can complete full sentences.
After that the races started. There were 3 divisions based on height and girls and boys events in each division. I stood on the sidelines with the students not participating and helped them cheer on their classmates. It was a big event. There were people there selling snacks like iced guavas and little trinkets like sunglasses and earrings. And the kids were prepared. The feasted all day and many came home with new bling.
Our students were doing okay but I could tell by how often different schools cheered that we were probably not ahead. When the places were announced the other teachers and I were not expecting much but we placed third! The kids were so excited they paraded the trophy back to our bus to show the other teachers. 3rd out of 7 is pretty good. Especially considering 1st and 2nd were won by the same school. (Don’t ask me how that works, last year we won 2nd and 3rd. Again I don’t know.)
The kids were thrilled and after a dinner of half and load of bread each and some ‘french polony’ we were back on the bus headed home.
I expected the bus ride home to be more subdued since the kids had run around in the hot sun all day and sutffed themselves with food. But the sugar kicked in, the music was turned up, and our victory was sung all the way back to our village.
If you are wondering about my weird lead into this post, fellow PCVs were reading compositions from students and I had to borrow this epic first line.