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Day 5 May 2017

This morning we woke to finish our playground project. Not only did we complete the tire pyramid climber but we also were able to complete a ring-toss game made out of the tire walls we cut out of the pyramid. The head teacher, school chairperson and cook had a throw-off to see who would win. Miss Maseko (teacher) was the champion! The kids and adults alike were excited to have a place to play - and I am super thankful to IUPUI Professor Beth Huffman for organizing the design and recruiting the students who were eager to build this project! Fun for years to come for the children (and adults!) of Malindza...

We then went with Denise (founder of the Rocking Horse Hospice) to the Mbabane Government Hospital long term pediatric ward. We watched as a child was sent home to die with only an oxygen tank in tow. We then saw first hand the consequences of the country's medical shortage. Right now there is a major shortage of medication nationwide and the leading drug shortage is to prevent seizures in epileptic patients. The burn section was filled with epileptic children who ended up having an episode as they stood near their fires to keep warm (it is now winter in Swaziland). One boy was burned from his toes to his chest. Another's hand and face were bandaged with only his eyes exposed. It broke my heart for them to see us because usually the only white people they see are doctors who are coming in to (painfully) change their bandaging. We are super grateful to my nephews for requesting gifts for our pediatric patients rather than themselves for their recent birthday. We are grateful to the others who donated as well - especially Austin McNair who donated a Surface Pro tablet that we were able to load with educational games for our kids who are immobile except for their upper bodies.

Afterward we went to dinner with some of our original students - some of those we've been supporting for 10 years. As you probably guessed, my little cutie sweetie angel baby Mazwi (who is now 13!!) was there. As we chatted, I was so nostalgic of the little 3 year old I met so many years ago... as Mazwi told me about his math class today, I noticed how deep his voice has gotten and wondered where my sweet baby went- knowing all along that the sweet baby is just now a little bigger and somehow even sweeter. We sponsored Sibusiso's driving school fees so he can get a license which will offer him odd jobs around the community. We sponsored Mirriam's examinations so she can earn her certificate in worksite health safety. We spoke to Lungelo about his examinations finishing his 3rd year of accounting at University of Swaziland and to Njabuliso about his upcoming completion of his automotive engineering program at Voctim College. Sizo will be entering his student teaching at a private high school in Mbabane with promises of full time employment upon completion and Nospipho just got accepted to college in business technology. The GHFP babies are all growing up! I couldn't be more proud of them and all they have accomplished. Your donation dollars at work!! It takes a village...

We also got confirmation that the building supplies have been delivered to Amanda's homestead in Malindza!! Amanda is an HIV+ high school girl whose father had decided she wasn't worthy of school tuition due to the disease she contracted at birth by no fault of her own. We, however, decided that she is worthy of every dream she can imagine and couldn't wait to help her achieve them all with your help! Not only is she going to school on a GHFP scholarship, but we are building her a cement home and toilet to replace the mud and stick dilapidated structure she currently shares with her aunt - Thanks Sube!! More tomorrow, our last full day in Swaziland... I can't believe it's already coming to an end.

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Thank you for your interest in our orphans!!

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