Sometimes when you pass a group of kids, they will yell, “Sweets! Sweets!” Innocent enough, if you tell them you don’t have any, then sometimes they switch to yell, “hello” or “goodbye!” or “Where are you going?”
But after a while, it is kind of exhausting. Because sometimes the don’t give up. In one way, it makes you annoyed at all the white people who have gone before you, giving sweets. But its also a sign of something greater that we noticed while in the country.
I’ve never seen more foreign aid trucks in my life in one place. World Vision, World Food Programme, a million different charities.
But I also saw a people. A very patient people. Who seem to have a very important gift stolen from them. Ambition.
Now, we did meet a few people who completely stood out from the rest, either going to university and trying to make something of themselves, or who are just working as hard as they can to improve their lives. But many have become complacent and willing to wait for handouts just to make it through. And it is incredibly sad to see. Because it is the result of incredible need meeting the willing hands and dollars of people to serve, but giving in ways that don’t create jobs or sustainable change or give the local people any way to work for something greater.
But a few people that stood out:
- We literally met a guy I would call “Mr. Ambition”. I gave him some American pop music, and he took us on a tour of all of these old Basotho homes, and showed us how and where they used to live. To make money, he hopes to become a tour guide, and I think he is off to a good start! He can’t read and doesn’t have many trade skills taught in school, but has learned a lot just watching people and is very much a jack of all trades! He is great! I hope that he really does continue to reach for his dreams.
- A really great guy bought us dinner and sodas one day and he is currently in university, wants to help out his country.
- A women who was part of a great family that also hosted us for a few meals, she has a degree in marketing, and is going to the States to get her masters in the same thing, so she can come back and make her business even greater.
- Numerous students who are in school and want to have good jobs one day. But there are not many jobs in Lesotho, so they limits their options.
We really applaud our ambitious friends, and we are glad to have met them for they give us hope.
And to the rest of us. Please invest in things that make this world SUSTAINABLE. Not just a handout.