Lessons in lockdown: Living each day like it is your last day

Lessons in lockdown: Living each day like it is your last day

Date: January 13, 2021
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By Ntolo Lekau

Maseru, 22 January:  I was looking forward to 2020 and people named it twenty plenty, year of good things and year of new possibilities not knowing those good things would turn to masking up our faces and physical distancing. “Many are the plans in the man’s heart, but it is the Lord purpose that prevails” Proverbs 19:21.The quoted bible verse means we can plan as much as we want but the Lord is only our approver. It was a year new and there was so much to be happy about and looking forward to.

On 18 March early hours of the morning I received a called from my mom telling me that our niece Mokonyana Lekau was very sick and she was talking him to the hospital, I was hurt, devastated and asked God why was that happening to such a young and beautiful soul. I woke up and got ready for work as usually and planned that I will go and see him at the hospital later that day.

It was a busy time at work as we were doing final preparations for the summit. At around 11:00 AM we left to the hospital with my sister as we were supposed to see them at 12 noon, but unfortunately when we were on the way my mom called us and told us that he had just passed away. I just could not believe, my sister and I cried and asked God so many questions, on the other hand the person who was driving us felt helpless and did not know what do, it was so painful. He had just turned three the previous day on 17 March and had so much to live for, I was torn apart and very hurt. On that day life was all ruined but life has to go on.

Meanwhile, at work we had planned that we would have our summit from 30-31 March 2020. All the preparations including paying the deposit at the hotels were done. I was looking forward to meeting and engaging with our participants since we last had our summit in 2017. Everyone was happy and those at the districts could not wait to be in Maseru.The excitement and emotions were high but all those came to a disappointment when the Prime Minister announced A total lock down for three weeks. I became very disappointed and could not understand why this was happening to us after putting so much work into summit preparations.

We were asked to stay at home and I was working from home under the “new normal”. It was so hard to be home alone all the time. Sometimes it would get so lonely and I would be miserable but I had so much to do as there was an audit going on and had to do preparations for my nephew’s funeral during lockdown which made it very difficult because of many restrictions.

We had our first ever virtual audit and everything went well. Although it was very hectic and tiring with back to back meetings and misplaced documents we managed to pull it off and we had successful audit.

It was getting busy as the date for the funeral was too close and there was so much to be done but all went perfectly well and we were able to bury him. It was good to be home with family even under the circumstances but we had to get things off our mind and just be there for each other. People at my village did not take lockdown restrictions nor COVID serious at all. For them it was life as usual and somehow took our mind off things because in town it was so serious and it would get so hectic sometimes. They did not even want to use sanitizer and some were even say we were the ones bringing COVID in their village with our sanitizers, it was nice in a way to be home.

Sadly it was time to come back to Maseru where I would be all by myself and my computer from 8:00 AM to 17.00 PM. It was so difficult sometimes as I would feel like just sleeping when seeing my bed but it was an important time for me to be able to discipline myself, self-manage as well as manage my time.  Having so much to do made it easy to overcome many challenges.  Working from home made it possible for me to learn more about myself, introspect and be able to see that connecting with people around me was so important. We had to rely on people that we are working with to make sure that our work keeps moving because there was no movement and since we as the Gender Links (GL) Lesotho office have a very good working relationship with our people it was not that challenging and we achieved so much, thanks to our people who always got our back.

However, our 2020 ended on high note as we were able to hold our three summits and participants were very happy to be able to connect with us yet again. We had three summits because we were trying not to bring more than 50 people in one place, people were happy to see each other and to learn from one another. If there is one thing that we do best at GL is to connect with our people and allow them to learn from each other.

As I reflect today and write this learning journey I am sitting at my place yet again as our country has gone to two weeks lockdown and we are working from home again.Who would have thought in 2021 we would still be talking about COVID 19? But, here we are yet again. As they say “experience is the best teacher” I now know how to plan my everyday tasks and be able to function very well on my own. I also know how to manage my time and be able to deliver on time.  I pray and hope as this year goes on it will be better and restore our lost hope. We have lost so many people who are dear to us.  I also hope it brings us more positive energy and attitude towards life’s challenges and everything that is thrown back at us as we take care and stay safe.

Ntolo Lekau is the Local Action for Gender Justice Lesotho Senior Finance and Programmes Officer

One thought on “Lessons in lockdown: Living each day like it is your last day”

Paseka says:

Well articulated Mme, you are such an inspiration to many of us, may the good Lord bless you and protect you and your family. We love you

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