Fall

The leaves have faded into yellows and reds and the sun makes shorter appearances each day. I find the need to wear more clothing during the day and even more at night. The air has taken on a crisp, clean feel. Fall has come to Lesotho.

Fall is my favorite time of the year. It’s marked with Jackrabbit football games, pumpkin-flavored everything (I only visit Starbucks once a year and it is for the Pumpkin Spice Latte and autumn beers beat out any other season of craft drafts) and great anticipation for my birthday (the best of all holidays), Halloween, Thanksgiving (my favorite of the national celebrations) and Christmas.

Yet none of that is relevant this fall.

While all of you are booking summer vacations, enjoying the outdoors, engrossed in the “marathon of American baseball season” (BBC’s words, not mine) and trying to take off those last few pounds before bikini season, I am on the other side of the world throwing back hot cups of tea and wearing as many layers as I can.

It’s cold, and it’s only April. Winter will reach the high point of its wrath in June and July. I know that I am from South Dakota, where your ability to withstand cold is a badge of honor. Hey, I walked from the HPER Building to Yeager in -20 degree temps in Brookings’ flat, wind-prone terrain. But, it’s another ballgame when you do not have heated buildings to interrupt the blasts, literally, of cold.

Fall in the southern hemisphere is weird and lack luster. There are no pumpkin drinks and it’s incredibly disappointing to think Christmas is only a few months away. Try eight.

Yet, I find myself enjoying the change. As Peter, the British man who lives in my village said, another season allows you to make a check mark and say, “Well, I lived through that season.”

When I first came to Lesotho it was the end of spring, start of summer. There were hot days and lots of pining for iced drinks. Now, the temps have flipped and I am nearly a veteran of this place. The elapsed time means something to me, yet it is still a new experience. I am not old but I am not new.

My hands are partly frigid stiff as I type this, but this season is like a new beginning. Still, I could go for something pumpkiny right about now.

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