This year’s Sixth Form trip to Lesotho was a roaring success in almost every respect.
Arriving in Johannesburg full of excitement and energy, the group ‘enjoyed’ the six hour drive south to Lesotho, fortunately arriving just after the immigration officers ended their strike. A traditional Basotho meal awaited our arrival at St Agnes, Teyateyaneng, along with the usual warm welcome. After a day exploring the local area, we went to Church. Typically British, we arrived at 10 am only to wait for 40 minutes for the service to begin. The service was as vibrant as ever, with plenty of singing and dancing to ensure that the three hour long service passed in a flash. We all then split up to spend the day with different families in the area, getting a sense of ‘real life’ in Lesotho. Monday saw the start of our community work at Ha Fusi Secondary School, and was a real eye-opener. Cokethorpe students spent the day with their Ha Fusi peers, visiting their homes and learning about life as a pupil in Lesotho. Having experienced the walk that many of them take on a daily basis to get to school for 7.30 there was a general appreciation for the bus system at Cokethorpe! The group worked hard for the next 3 days, planting 400 trees and painting the school hall. Each day ended with a keenly contested football match, each of which followed the same pattern - early English spirit followed by exhaustion and ultimate defeat.
Heavy snowfall in the mountains meant a change of plan for the second part of the trip, and the group ended up in Malealea for some pony trekking, hiking and mountain biking - and the use of flush toilets and warm showers. This was the perfect end to a great experience in which friendships were made and preconceptions challenged. Cokethorpe students were left in awe of their Basotho counterparts who commit so wholly to their education and, with very little, were so content and accepting of the challenges faced on a day-to-day basis. Mr Uglow and Ms Giraldo were very impressed with the way the group handled the experience.