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Thursday

May 2017, last full day

This morning we arrived at the Primary School in eLangeni to help Suzie with the cooking. I always marvel at the challenge of cooking and serving 623 children in 23 minutes and the IUPUI students agreed! During the school break we played with donations from Jan Buckles birthday - and More than Rubies...the kids were literally fighting over the frisbees and jump ropes! After all 623 kids are served, they are able to come back for limited second helpings. This is where I busy myself in the back room as it breaks my heart to see the still hungry kiddos begging for more (our school lunches are likely their only meal of the day).

Afterward, we played with the Pre-school children at eLangeni. We played "twenty twenty litte stars" (twinkle twinkle, with different words), itsy bitsy spider, and many more.

Then, I was beckoned by Mazwi (If you haven't been following along for the last 10 years, this is my little sweetie!!)... I always promise him that I won't embarass him in front of his peers (he's 13!) so I was surprised to see him recognizing me in public. Turns out that he needs someone to act as his mother so he can receive his reports during parent-teacher conferences. During these conferences, I hear nothing but GLOWING accolades of a successful, kind, and respectful young man who has no recommendations whatsoever other than to continue along his path...imagine: You are orphaned since 9 months old. You live i a child-headed home - there is no one to tell you what to do - and STILL you choose to do the right thing, day after day, situation after difficult situation!

I fought back tears after his head teacher told me he ranked position 6 out of 96 students. I hate fundraising and begging people to give me things, but it changes the course of lives! Mazwi is proof. It keeps me motivated to continue outside of my comfort zone to alter the future for these amazing children. I am forever grateful to you - those who give without gain. I give my whole life to these Swazi children because they are my whole world. You give out of utter selflessness - not knowing any of these amazing kiddos personally - and for that I cannot thank you enough... ever. There aren't proper words of gratitude for making this all possible.

It's our last evening in Swaziland. We finished with delivering all of our used clothes - and even our suitcase - to Mphilo. She is one of our outstanding high school students and she will go door to door selling our items as a small income generating business. Last time, she made $30 and spent $20 of it to send her younger brother Mazwi and herself to Easter Church Camp. The Chief of eLangeni tonight spoke highly of these children stating that they volunteer around the community and also help each other despite the fact that they have different surnames (last names). I often cannot even pronounce some of these children's surnames, let alone have one identical, and still they are my teachers, my spiritual leaders, and my inspiration to be a better person.

If you're ever interested in traveling to Swaziland, I encourage you to take the next step. I can guarantee that you will aim to serve, but will forever gain more in return...and our incredible children are eager to meet you! Tomorrow I will share a letter from Mphilo, and until then - Goodnight from Swaziland!!

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