After a LONG journey, we made it to Swaziland! Arriving on a Sunday afternoon unfortunately means most everything is closed – which adds a lot to our to-do list tomorrow – but it made for a fun easy afternoon playing with the kids. We picked up Njabuliso and headed to Pilo and Mazwi’s house.
We played cards, learned siSwati, played games and talked about life. Ohh and I can’t forget about the children playing with SnapChat video filters and belly laughing forever! Njabuliso just graduated with distinction from his automotive engineering college program and is working at an auto shop near the car dealership here in town. He said they mainly do oil changes and maintenance inspections. He is eager to find a higher paid position but is happy to be employed in the meantime (unemployment rates here are HIGH!).
Mazwi, sweet little baby Mazwi, is every bit a teenager now. Not a baby anymore!! He said that he still wants to be a police officer. Pilo has changed her mind again, but she promises that this is the last time. She wants to be a judge now. She said she doesn’t like science enough to continue her desire to be a dentist. Her favorite subject is history and one of her teachers told her she would be a good and fair judge. Fair enough Pilo! Keep working hard and dreaming big!
We dropped Njabuliso off at his house after hanging out. He insisted the road was fine despite the heavy rain (and shockingly it was!) but the girls seemed a bit scared on the drive to his home “off-roading” with Anika pointing out every rock and bump. Just wait until they see the roads to the other kids’ homes! Once we arrived, Njabuliso rushed inside and returned with the original copy of his diploma and distinction certificates. He wanted us to see them in person!
He had asked us for a laptop he could use at work. He has computer software that helps him diagnose car troubles but the computer he was using finally died. My parents donated an old laptop and he was very excited to receive it tonight! As he walked away from our car toward his home with the laptop bag hanging casually from his shoulder, official college documents in his hand, and his head held high, I had to hold back a tear. I am so damn proud of that kid!! Being a double orphan since youth has left scars and created major challenges, but it has never stopped him from being a respectful, hardworking, and inspiring young man. Thank you for being an inspiration to me for the last 11 years Njabuliso, and thanks for being an inspiration to the future youth of Swaziland. You’re a hero!