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Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Oh, Kingdom in the Sky

A Poem

Africa, Lesotho


  I have come to love your land.

Your peaks reaching skyward—
Your treasured trees,
Even the dongas express a pained beauty of its own.

  I have come to love your seasons.

Summer in December—
Christmas without snow.

Springtime planting of maize, mabele, mokopu, and meroho.

  Autumn bursts forth with cosmos waving in the breeze.

And winter time—kobos layered at night so I won't freeze.

  I have come to love your people.

  Bo'Me'—I admire your tenacity for hard work.
Carrying the buckets on your head
Seeing that your family is fed.
Washing the clothes, cutting the wood.

Bo'Ntate—caretakers of the animals—
Training your sons to plow, plant and reap.
I respect your wisdom.

Oh, children of Lesotho—

It is now your land to love and keep.

I have been honored to spend precious days with you.

Oh, Kingdom in the Sky.

dongas=a gulley or canyon washed out from erosion
mabele=sorghum used to make beer
meroho=greens such as chard or spinach
cosmos=wild flower
kobos=blankets worn around the shoulders

About the Author

Mary Ann Camp

With a decades-long nursing career to her credit, Mary Ann Camp was a hero before she became a Peace Corps Volunteer. Still, while many Americans her age considered retirement, Peace Corps service for Mary Ann meant three tours—in Lesotho, Malawi, and Botswana—tackling health, agriculture, and education problems with her host communities.

World Wise Speakers

Invite a Peace Corps volunteer into your classroom to share what it's like to live a global life by sharing stories, cultures and knowledge.