Peace Corps Volunteer Chtaura Jackson laughs with Bakwena chief Rre Mamogale.
I saw this man often at social functions, but I never managed to learn his name.
Andrew Mabelane, one of my grade 7 maths students in 2012.
Another familiar face to whom I never managed to attach a name.
Xikoxa, the mother of my host mother, Ma Grace. We jokingly referred to her as my “makoti,” or fiance.
My host brother, Gomolemo (background) and host nephew Phetogo (foreground). Phetogo lived in the township down the road, but when he came to visit, he and his cousin Gomolemo were inseparable.
Kagiso, one of my grade 6 recruits to Scouting.
Kagiso’s younger brother, armed with a slingshot.
Tumelo Katane, one of my Patrol Leaders in Scouting.
Thabo Mosupye, another Scouting Patrol Leader. Thabo and Tumelo often went by the nicknames Popeye and Spinach, after a pair of bickering best friends in a popular South African television show.
Mimi Thage, an intermediate phase teacher at Tolamo Primary, checks an order of food for the National School Nutrition Programme.
Kagiso Mabelane, another of my grade 7 maths students from 2012. Concerned by the rowdy behavior of primary school children on his street, he initiated and ran an afterschool gym class for children in kindergarten through grade 4.
A man and his daughter watch the people of Letlhakaneng come and go.
Nyaleti and Reatlagile, the children of my host brother Obed, plan some trouble to cause. “Very naught, those ones,” Ma Grace would always say…and laugh.
Father Fanuel, my host father, prepares morogo (wild spinach) for supper.
1st Letlhakaneng prepares to go to Venda for Scout Camp.
Keobami Kwetsane, an intermediate phase teacher at Tolamo Primary. He and I worked closely to introduce experiential and team-based science learning with the grade 6 students.
Boerkie, another familiar character from Letlhakaneng.
Ntate Serame, the former gardener at Tolamo Primary. He is one of the most gentle people I have ever met. There were always kittens and dogs and geese and children running around his yard.
George immigrated Lesotho to herd cattle for the Kgokane and Mogoshoa families in Letlhkaneng. He earns about 60 USD a month.
Mpho Kgokane explains how to identify the different ditlhare (trees) of the bosveld (bushveld).
An older female relative that stays at Mpho Kgokane’s compound – aunt? mother? grandmother?
Arone, the modise (herder) that taught me the names of the trees on the bushveld on their medicinal properties.
Reatlagile looks for some trouble.
Gomolemo looking good for church.
Father Fanuel, also looking good for church.
My host brother Amukalani. He has a steady girlfriend, which I think a lot of girls in Letlhakaneng are heartbroken about.
My host mother, Ma Grace.
The caretaker at Tolamo Primary. His name is Simon, but he is better known as Boetie, Afrikaans for brother.
One of my grade 6 learners.
Letlhakaneng, North West Province. South Africa.
July 2012 – July 2013.
“Batho pele” is a Tswana ideal meaning “People first.”