Last night the girls and I went to the Hypontic music festival at House on Fire to see our friends Baby T and Sifiso’s dance performance. The dance, of course, was amazing. As was the music and outdoor ambiance in town away from the struggles of rural life. It makes you feel guilty – almost as if you should purposefully struggle more so the kids can struggle less. As I was gazing into the beautiful night sky thinking about how blessed I am in life I see someone running toward us out of the corner of my eye. It was Mr. Swaziland! Hilarious. He wanted us to know that he was there and asked if we heard the announcer saying his name. I am certain I have never met anyone more in love with themselves in my lifetime. But somehow – it suits him and is almost endearing…almost.
Today we spent the day in eLangeni with our GHFP sponsored children. We brought lunch (polony sandwiches, chips, oranges, juice, and sweets) and played Swazi games. The girls taught us rope games, songs, dances – it was perfect. The sun was shining, the air was warm, the breeze was soft, and the kids were aplenty! For quite a while Lungelo was the only boy there and he didn’t want to play with the girls so he asked me to sit and chat with him. He is SUCH a perfect child. I cannot sing Lungelo’s praises enough. He is an only child and lost both of his parents a while ago. Since then he has been bouncing around between relatives who did not particularly want the added responsibility and he has bounced entirely without complaint. Additionally, he always volunteers to help everyone. He cleans the cow manure out of the Chief’s cattle crawl, herds neighbors’ cattle to the nearest water source (which is very far up the mountain), and grows a large garden of vegetables that he shares with neighbors even though he experiences food scarcity himself. He studies SO HARD! He is by far our top GHFP student and wishes to go to university next year to study accounting. He was telling us that he wishes to have a novel to read to “enrich my vocabulary so I can excel on my exams”. He is as adorable as he is eloquent. I am so unbelievably proud of this child and enjoyed being able to spend so much time with him today without all of the other children who tend to hide shy and quiet Lungelo in their shadows. I researched and found that university is only $1,500 per year if the students do not need boarding. I would LOVE to offer Lungelo a scholarship to continue his studies. He would most definitely pay it back hundredfold by continuing to help the children in his community once he is successful. If anyone would like to donate to Lungelo’s college, please contribute on our website:http://www.ifightpoverty.org/donate.html
After the party was over, the polony sandwiches were consumed, and it started to get dark – we packed our Nissan Grand Livina to the max and started driving the children home. We had 13 girls (plus Mazwi) in our 8 seater and the kids could not have cared less. (Don’t worry; we were only driving a short distance on rural dirt roads with no other cars around.) We rolled the windows down and turned the Swazi radio station up. I had little Mazwi on my lap in the front seat and the sound of the young happy girls singing along with the tunes behind me. There are so many times when I am in Swaziland and just feel utterly content – to the point where my heart almost hurts with happiness. This was one of them. Just as I was about to break Mazwi’s ribcage with the fierceness of my hug, I glance out the window and see our GHFP Vulture soccer team playing a game. Kait started blaring the horn and we all screamed out the window like 12 year olds at a Justin Bieber concert. The team was as excited to see us as we were to see them. With that, another day in Swaziland comes to a close. Tomorrow is Kait & Katy’s last day which reminds me of the upcoming ending to my own trip – a thought I don’t even want to entertain right now as I sip my peach Aquelle sparkling water and flip through my photos from today. This is life.