Originally uploaded by Stephen Downes.
Driving along the road just outside Maseru, we looked out over the valley to see the evening sun hiding behind the one cloud we had seen all day, casting the sky and land in a brilliant orange hue. Lesotho, that brilliant, incredible, fascinating, friendly, moving, sad, and beautiful Kingdom of the Sky.

Lesotho, where they said to me, "Go in peace," shook my hand three times, looked me in the eye, and thanked me for the small purchase I had made, and more, I think, for looking them in the eye, shaking their hand, and saying thank you. Lesotho, a land of quiet gentle people who have only, thorough all of their history, sought only to survive.

If there is justice in the world, I will one day return to Lesotho with more than just my goodwill and curiosity.


  1. Like most Americans who've been to Lesotho, I saw it as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and I miss it constantly. It's a strange, sad, beautiful secret kingdom at the end of the world, and even neighbors across the border in South Africa tend to forget it exists.

    I've been working in drips and drabs on a Peace Corps memoir of my Lesotho time, and excerpts can be found at my livejournal blog under the name Alazka, if you're interested. There are also lots of Lesotho pictures in Alazka's fotki account.

  2. Thanks for this. If I hadn't seen Lesotho I wouldn't really have seen South Africa either.

  3. These are nice words about us. Our motto is Peace, Rain, Prosperity. We don't wanna bother anyone, and we don't wanna be bothered. I'm glad you had a positive experience of Lesotho. Do go back.


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