LESOTO – LESOTHO

Jahanje duz doline reke-Pony trekking along the Makhaleng river

Jahanje duz doline reke-Pony trekking along the Makhaleng river

Kraljevska porodica-The Royal family

Kraljevska porodica-The Royal family

Kraljevska rezidencija u planinama-The Royal residence in the mountains

Kraljevska rezidencija u planinama-The Royal residence in the mountains

Muzej u glavnom gradu Maseru-A museum in the capital Maseru

Muzej u glavnom gradu Maseru-A museum in the capital Maseru

Nasmejane kuvarice-Smiling cooks in Malealea Lodge

Nasmejane kuvarice-Smiling cooks in Malealea Lodge

Planinski prolaz zvani Rajska vrata-A mountain passage called The Gate of Paradise

Planinski prolaz zvani Rajska vrata-A mountain passage called The Gate of Paradise

Poziranje ispred vodopada-Botsoela Waterfall

Poziranje ispred vodopada-Botsoela Waterfall

Prolece u Lesotu-Springtime in Lesotho

Prolece u Lesotu-Springtime in Lesotho

Skolski cas-A school class

Skolski cas-A school class

Vradzbine su deo magije-Witchcraft is part of their magic

Vradzbine su deo magije-Witchcraft is part of their magic

Zene u tradicionalnoj odeci-Ladies in traditional clothes

Zene u tradicionalnoj odeci-Ladies in traditional clothes

Okružena sa svih strana Južnom Afrikom, ova planinska kraljevina se
ugnezdila negde duboko na jugu crnog kontinenta, tesko dostupna znatiželjnim
posetiocima koji bi želeli da upoznaju nešto neuobičajeno. Kroz planinski
prolaz, zvani Rajska vrata, ulazimo u oblast Malealea, u kojoj nas sa
osmehom čekaju pastiri, umotani u raznobojne vunene ogrtače, sa dugim
štapovima koji kao da streme ka oblacima. Teraju njima svoja krda i veselo
nas prate u istoimeni lodge, smeštaj u vidu niza okruglih kolibica koje
podsećaju na tipične afričke kuće. Svaka je različito ukrašena i s pogledom
na prostranu dolinu u oblaku magle. Kao da žele da ostave utisak čuvara, psi
se lenjo protežu ispred kućica, od kojih poneka ima, umesto bazena, svoju
baru sa hladnom vodom za osveženje. Uveče, uz vatru, lokalno pleme izvodi
svoj ritualni ples, kome se stranci rado pridružuju ne bi li se zagrejali,
dok debele i nasmejane crnkinje služe iz kazana gulaš od divljači.
Sledeći dan je naporan jer bi na konjima trebalo obići celu dolinu; najpre
se spustiti u nju preko vrleti i bujnih potoka, a potom se, strmim stazama
koje često gledaju u provaliju, ponovo popeti na obod. U jednom trenutku se
poni, kada ga je uplašila zmija, okliznuo i zamalo krenuo ka ambisu. Ipak,
lepota predela, skrivenog vodopada sa nestašnom decom ispod njega i neobična
vegetacija, doprinose da se zaborave sve opasnosti i potisne osećanje
udaljenosti od bilo kakve civilizacije.
Kompleks lokalnog vladara, kralja Letsie III ili njegova rezidencija u
brdima, izvan glavnog grada, koji se naziva Maseru, takođe je samo niz malo
većih koliba sa krovovima od trske. Oko njih je nekoliko čuvara, koji vam
mrzovoljno objašnjavaju gde se nalazite i kako tu nije poželjno duže
zadržavanje. Razmišljam o tome ko bi od stranaca imao nešto protiv ovog
vladara? To bi možda moglo biti neko suparničko pleme, ali, kralj je –
ipak, kralj. On ovde ima samo ceremonijalne dužnosti. Školovan je u
Engleskoj, ima veoma simpatičnu porodicu i voli prirodu. Slobodno vreme
provodi tako što obilazi porodična stada po brdima.
Njegov predak i osnivač Basoto nacije bio je prvi kralj Moshoeshoe I.
Osnovao je ovu malu kraljevinu polovinom XIX veka, nakon borbi sa Burima i
ratničkim Zulu plemenima, koje je predvodio tada čuveni afrički kralj Shaka
Zulu. Time je uspeo da pridobije naklonost Engleza i kraljice Viktorije,
koja je dala dozvolu da se osnuje Basutoland. Po njemu se danas naziva
međunarodni aerodrom u ovoj maloj zemlji.
Svojom velikom nadmorskom visinom, kojom se približava oblacima, Lesoto je
jedinstveno mesto na svetu, koje svojim prirodnim lepotama očarava i kome
bih želeo da se vratim. Jednostavnost i dobrota ljudi koji tamo žive daju mu
posebnu draž, jer je to Afrika koja se razlikuje od one koju mislimo da
poznajemo: ovo je planinska Afrika. U njoj se živi na drugačiji način; više
su okrenuti prirodi, što ovim ljudima veoma prija. Izdvojen od sveta Lesoto
ima sopstveni život i poseban afrički put, drugačiji od ostalih.

Mart 2006.
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Surrounded from all sides by South Africa, this mountainous kingdom is
tucked away in the deep South of the African continent, hardly accessible to
the visitors who are in search of something unusual. Through the mountain
passage called ‘Gate of Paradise’ we enter the region of Malealea, where we
are greeted by smiling shepherds wrapped up in colourful woolen cloaks,
holding long sticks which seem to reach the sky. They use them to prod their
cattle while they cheerfully lead the way to a nearby lodge, accommodation
consisting of several round shaped huts, resembling typical African houses.
Each hut is decorated differently and has a view on to the spacious valley,
covered in clouds of fog. Pretending that they are guarding you, the dogs
stretch themselves lazily in front of their kennels, some of which have
their own little puddles of water for refreshment. In the evening, local
tribes perform their ritual dance around the fire, foreign visitors wanting
to join in in order to get warmer, while fat smiling black women serve
venison stew cooked in cauldrons.
The following day is promising to be exhausting because we are supposed to
go around the entire valley on pony horseback; first of all we need to
descend down the cliffs and across torrential streams and then climb back up
to the rim along steep paths that more often than not overlook an abyss. All
of a sudden a pony got scared by a snake and almost slipped towards the
abyss. Yet, the beauty of the scenery, hidden waterfalls with mischievous
black boys underneath it, unusual vegetation – all that helps to forget all
kinds of danger and suppress the feeling of remoteness from civilization.
Outside the capital city of Maseru, you can find the residence of the local
ruler Letsie III perched on top of a hill; that complex of buildings is also
only a little more than a cluster of slightly larger huts with thatched
roofs. They are surrounded by a few guards who unwillingly explain where
exactly you are and why it is not recommended to hang around. I ask myself
why any foreign visitor would have anything against this ruler. It could be
a rival tribe perhaps.but the king is still the king. Here, he has only
ceremonial duties. He is normally educated in England, has a very nice
family and is a fan of nature. He spends his time in the hills, visiting
herds of cattle that belong to his family.
His ancestor and founder of the Basotho nation was Moshoeshoe I, the first
king. He founded this little kingdom in mid-19th century, after fighting
against Boers and Zulu warrior tribes, at the time led by the famous African
king Shaka Zulu. Thus he gained favour of the English and Queen Victoria who
allowed the founding of Basutoland. Today, this is the name of this small
country’s international airport. With its extremely high altitude, bringing
it close to the skies, and bewitching natural beauties, Lesotho is a unique
place that I would like to revisit. The simplicity and kindness of its
people give this country a special charm, because this Africa is unlike the
one we think we know – this is mountainous Africa. Here life is different
and centered around nature, which the locals seem to enjoy a lot.
Set apart from the rest of the world, Lesotho has its own life and its own
way, different from other African countries.

March 2006

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