Cross-posted with permission from the Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Regional Exchange (SHARE).
I used to smile at the sentimental nickname for Lesotho, “The Mountain Kingdom.” Following a few visits to the capital Maseru, I had the opportunity to travel to the district of Mokhotlong, in the east of the country. Here I discovered that this term is more literal than symbolic, and no laughing matter. Narrow gravel roads with incredible switchback turns had me engaging in lively discussion in the car to avoid thinking about how close I was to the edge. More important than experiencing the rugged beauty of the physical landscape, it was on this trip that I began to discover and appreciate the grace and resilience of Lesotho’s people. A subsequent trip to Mohale’s Hoek, a district south of Maseru (further explained below) reinforced my growing admiration.