When I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho, about 90 percent of the male workforce worked in South Africa, primarily in the gold mines, with few opportunities to return home to their families. One of these men was married to a neighbor of mine. She was raising their children in a one-room mud hut, never knowing when her husband might be back or when she would hear from him. They had nothing— no furniture, hardly enough food, few clothes for the children.
One day my neighbor came to me to ask what to do: a letter from her husband had arrived with cash inside. The money, he had written, was to buy a table and four chairs. She was beside herself. She was struggling to feed their children and keep clothes on their backs, and he wanted her to buy furniture. And...Read More