Saturday, January 19, 2013

Staff Appreciation

Back in September, I had the good fortune to be present for a deeply meaningful moment for the Peace Corps Lesotho family.  During a meeting, a group of volunteers surprised the folks who work at Peace Corps Lesotho with a Staff Appreciation Day Celebration.  I did my best to capture some of the event, but the lighting was not always good and our camera, as it turns out, was dying.  Nonetheless, it was great to see the Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) showing their heartfelt appreciation for all that the staff do.  I have seen how dedicated the staff are, too.  Here are those I was able to catch in the moment.

Please note: 

1.  'M'e is pronounced MAY and Ntate is pronounced n-DAH-tay.  They literally mean "mother" and "father", respectively, but are used also as "Mister" and "Miss/Ms./Mrs.". They are used consistently and constantly.  For example, I would never refer to Ntate Bernard as Bernard.  When addressing him directly or talking about him, I would always precede the name Bernard with the word Ntate.  Though I might very well address him as simply Ntate, as in Lumela Ntate, or "Hello sir". Anyone whose name is not preceded with 'M'e or Ntate is not a Mosotho.

2. I have not included pronunciations with names because there are just too many.

So, here are 'M'e Victoria and Jim:

'M'e Masechabe and 'M'e Malisema:

'M'e Jimi, Ntate Lereko and Eric:

Some of the appreciative PCVs:

'M'e Malitaba, Ntate Majara, Eric, Ntate Lereko and 'M'e Eunicia:

PCVs and staff:

The PCVs had brought hand-written cards with expressions of thanks to all the staff from PCVs all over Lesotho.  Here, they are handing them out.

As the staff began to read the cards, occasionally out loud, I could see that they were genuinely moved.

Seated here are 'M'e Selloane, Ntate Mohale and 'M'e Jimi, with PCVs standing in the background.

The seated staff here are Deepak, 'M'e Jeanette, and 'M'e Khubelu:

Here, seated on the left, are Jim and 'M'e Mamakola.  Standing are Ntate Tsatsi and their fearless leader, Kathy.  Behind her is a PCV.  Seated on the right is Deepak.

One PCV, in particular, seems to know when a camera is pointed her way...

Snacks and sodas were brought in, and the party began.  Seated here are 'M'e Itumaleng, 'M'e Selloane and Ntate Mohale.

More celebrating.

And expressions of appreciation.

Here, my wife and one of the PCVs are focused on a task of immense significance.

They were, of course, cutting the cake!

Now this is a party!

Here are 'M'e Mamakheta and Ntate Bernard.

Doctor Victor.

Kathy, of course, received her share of cards.

Aw, you guys!

'M'e Lebohang.

'M'e Selloane posing with appreciative PCVs.

Ntate Clement.

Ntate Bernard.

As I said, I have seen first hand how hard-working and dedicated the Peace Corps Lesotho staff are.  And how kind and caring.  So to see their volunteers take the time to do this was truly special.

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