Day one –
We’ve only been here in Swaziland for five hours and already it’s been hectic. We rushed from the JoBurg airport to get here in time for the grocery store (food for us) and wholesale shop (food for the kids) only to find NOTHING open. Not a thing. Ghost town. Apparently it was the Reed Dance today which makes it a National Holiday. Then we raced to Nomfundo’s house to get there before the sun went down since they do not have electricity and it is DARK in the rural areas. Failed at that one too. But we ended up having a wonderful time playing cards, eating chips, and singing songs with a single candle flickering on the concrete floor. Pilo and Mazwi both informed me that they passed with flying colors and Mazwi has decided to change his career goal from Kombi driver (bus driver) to banker. I told him my husband would be happy to show him the ropes but he has got to start learning to like math (he only likes English and SiSwati subjects). I told Nomfundo to teach Junior (her 18 month old) how to say Annie. Tonight, he refused to talk to me but at least he didn’t scream!! When I held him in my arms, it made me miss my Tinlie Lihle even more…
There is always drama when we get here – especially after such a long hiatus. We’re building a toilet tomorrow for two sisters; however, I found out tonight that they refuse to share and each want their own. Ain’t gonna happen ladies.
Samkelo – older brother and caretaker to our Mazwi and Pilo – has become a drunk since August when his sister moved home with her son and another child on the way. He is stressed that he is now single handedly feeding 7 (soon to be 8) mouths without an education or job. Apparently at night he gets angry and kicks everyone out of the home – including little Mazwi and Pilo – forcing them to sleep under a bush somewhere until the morning when they sneak back home while he’s passed out. Pilo said this has happened 5 times and is becoming more frequent. In the rural areas after dark, it is not safe to be outside as young people. There are drunks everywhere, stray dogs, and who knows what else.
One of our other girls has informed me that the rash that was under her armpit has spread throughout her body and is now creating puss and sores. My doctor friend saw her and suggested she be tested for STDs. AHHHH!! One thing at a time. For tonight, that is bed. And for tomorrow, that will be fetching our builders and building ONE toilet for TWO sisters that must learn to share. Goodnight from Swaziland!