Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Unfortunate Event

I want to share some sad news from Lesotho. A fellow University of Florida graduate, and Peace Corps Volunteer, was shot and killed in Lesotho on Friday, September 3, 2010. His name was Tom Maresco, and he has been serving as an Education volunteer in Lesotho since November 2009. Tom was an amazing guy and will be missed by family and friends here in Florida and in Lesotho.

Although I did not know Tom personally, I have friends that did. Ironically, I was also given his e-mail address by a friend just days before his death, as I was supposed to get in contact with him. Supposedly, Tom has been waiting and hoping for another UF grad to join him as a PCV in Lesotho. I would have been that person, and Tom and I would have met in November. I am sad that I will never get that chance to meet or talk to Tom.

I want my friends and family to know that this was a random violent crime, and was not something targeted at Peace Corps Volunteers. The investigation is ongoing, but it is thought to have been an attempted robbery. Please read the Peace Corps Press Release to get more information.

This event saddens me, but does not deter me or lessen my resolve to go to Lesotho. Crimes like this can and do happen all over the world.

More Preparation

Other things I've bought in the past few days in preparation for Lesotho:
- thick tights (girl's sizes b/c they are cheaper :-)
- thick knee socks (from men's section b/c again, they are cheaper)
- thick thigh-high socks (actually had to get these in the women's section lol)
- a set of kitchen knives
- winter coat, 4-in-1, w/ zip out fleece lining....very cool!
- extra USB Flash Drives
- Toshiba Netbook- up to 11 hours of battery life....awesome :-)

Also, my Diva Cup arrived in the mail today....interesting.....

I've also spent time trying on and modeling various clothes for my mother and making tentative piles of which clothes I will bring with me. Fun fun!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Spending $$$

I just spent about $70 at Wal-Mart (luckily I had a gift-card) on things for Peace Corps. Here are some of the treasures I came home with:
- LED headlight ($15)
- Small LED Flashlight ($5)
- Crank LED Flashlight that requires no batteries ($10)
- All-in-one Pocket Knife Tool Thingy (pliers, screwdrivers, saw, etc.) ($10)
- 2 Waterbottles ($8)
- 2 Pairs of Leggings ($10)
- Can Opener ($2)
- 3 Cheap Vegetable Peelers (supposedly they are good as gifts?) ($3)
- 2 Pairs of Scissors ($2)
- Crossword Book ($1)

Now I might go order a Diva Cup for ~ $30 (I'm not going to explain what a Diva Cup is on here....google it if you are that interested)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

HIV/AIDS in Lesotho

I just added a new page on my blog for information about HIV/AIDS in Lesotho. I knew that Lesotho had a very high prevalence rate for HIV/AIDS (23%), but until today I had failed to really research it further. I failed to realize just how prevalent and serious it is. Here are just a few things I learned/realized:

1. Lesotho is ranked #3 in the world for its HIV/AIDS prevalence rate
2. Swaziland is #1 and Botswana is #2
3. Nearly 1 in 4 adults in Lesotho may have HIV/AIDS

Please click on the HIV/AIDS in Lesotho tab to find out more (and the links I included there have awesome interactive maps!).