Guys, I still (and feel like I always will) hurt! We’re constantly filling (more) bottles, hand pumping and carrying (more) borehole water, moving (more) Earth, carrying 50lb cement blocks, and mixing cement/river sand/plaster sand/ and water by hand. My husband once tried to get me to lift with him and I barely did and then couldn’t walk for 3 days afterward. I already know he wouldn’t believe what we’ve been up to here… and we aren’t even done! We’ll finish the very top portion on Tuesday. It’s amazing to think of the plastic bottle TRASH that we are repurposing to become a toilet to help with rural sanitation to ultimately SAVE LIVES. Trash saving children’s lives…… makes the aches and pains all worth it (but I am still chewing ibuprofen like candy).
After over a decade of coming to Swaziland, I have stopped participating in the group’s safari experience. Sometimes I see some impala by the watering hole at Hlane, but I haven’t seen an "real" wild animal in ages. Today, on the way to safari, not even to the park yet, Mary shouts “GIRAFFES” at the top of her lungs. We look over and see 3 beautiful creatures eating leaves on tall trees along the road. Suddenly all anxiety disappeared. I always appreciated giraffes because I too have been a vegetarian for 20 years and I have heard that giraffes are docile and the “lovers of the wilderness”. But Mary told me today that they like to fight and WHAP people with their necks, so now I am trying to forget that tidbit of info and dream about frolicking with my gentle long necked friends…
We are ALMOST done with the toilet wall. We are constructing a 4-stall (2 girl and 2 boy) pit latrine toilet out of plastic soda/water bottles. This not only saves the environment of the toxins from burning the plastic but it also saves the children from communicable infectious disease. It’s been a learning process as there are currently NO structures in Swaziland built this way, but it is coming along. The main struggles have been having enough water to mix the mortar (the borehole is hand-pumped and down a steep hill), and the energy/manpower to mix the cement by hand (the group thought there would be an electric cement mixer….everything is man-powered in Swaziland!!). Perhaps our group should have exercised a bit more before this trip haha.
Afterward, we stopped by Nothando’s house. She is a high school junior and the eldest person at her homestead. She raises her own 5 year old daughter Luyanda, 3 sisters and 1 nephew Peliswe all alone. We dropped food and a flash drive to assist her studies. When we asked what she needed most, she said a new home. Hers is made of rocks, sticks and mud. When it rains, her dirt floor turns to mud. She sleeps in this muddy room with all 5 of her relatives. She needs a more permanent structure!! A new house for the 6 children would be around $3,500 total. Even $25 would help us get there…. Would you consider it? 100% of any donations will go toward this project: http://ww.ifightpoverty.org/donate.html