I can’t believe we’ve already reached the last full day of Amanda and Karen’s Swazi adventure!! It seems like just yesterday we reached the land of beautiful rolling mountains and red dirt, forever smiling children, the friendliest Sawubonas, and the best hugs in the whole world… Today was action packed. Amilcare (our friend and driver) worked his magic turning the American plugs on all 10 Franklin Energy Services donated Dell laptops into Swazi plugs and wired them all (with surge protection) into one outlet at our Give Hope, Fight Poverty primary school computer lab.
Meanwhile I made the girls workout (much to Katy’s dismay) by carrying 12.5kg bags of mealies, beans, rice, cooking oil, canned fish, green bar soap, candles (no electricity), and brown sugar MANY miles to one of our GHFP sponsored child-headed homes. Katy carried her share in her second bookbag looking like a pregnant lady, Karen carried hers with both hands, but Amanda and I were true Swazis carrying ours on our heads. We couldn’t have reached Sandzie’s house soon enough as Katy’s feet were blistering and I was feeling 4 inches shorter. But when we reached the house full of tiny children and an elderly grandmother taking care of them all – it was definitely worth it! When we returned back to our primary school, the children were waiting for us and smothered us in hugs. One little boy only 4 years old said that I was beautiful like the sun. Although I am sure he was just shocked at seeing my (bleached) blonde hair, I pocketed that ego boost for all of the days when I will feel too inadequate to meet the needs of all of these amazing children who are by far 90 billion times more beautiful than all of the stars in the sky.
My Mazwi, of course, worked his charm on our new GHFP participants and therefore they wanted to say a private goodbye to him before their journey home to the US tomorrow. We walked many miles in the opposite direction (now sans pounds and pounds of food, thank goodness) to his homestead. Mazwi, Philo, and Samkelo were working (as always). The little ones were making dinner and cleaning their school uniforms while Samkelo was applying a fresh coat of paint on their tiny home. The girls took pictures and promised to remember them always. I stole hugs from them even though I’ll be here until July 22nd and… Mazwi is finally returning our hugs!! After 6 days of being stiff armed, a full-fledged 2 armed hug was just about more than my tiny heart could take… and to think I get almost another month of them????? Holy. Moly. I am spoiled.