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May 2019: Day 1

Last trip to eSwatini, you didn't see any blog posts from me.  It's tough programming an entire day then coming home to log receipts and blog after everyone else in my group falls asleep.  So this trip, I'm going to put my team to work! Tonight's guest blog after my short excerpt is from Hannah Lindgren.  This is actually her second trip to eSwatini.  Her goal - both trips - is to film the kids thereby giving them a voice to tell their stories to the world.  Stay tuned for more on that.

Tonight, we delivered food and visited with two of our original child-headed homes (added to our program over a decade ago).  At the first home, we learned they have experienced food scarcity for 2 weeks.  They've been struggling but working hard to continue their pursuit of their college studies and their hopes of starting a rural grocery store.  Many of you recently donated your old clothes.  Some of these clothes we wear during the trip and leave behind with the girls who will eventually clean, mend (if needed) and sell them. Tonight we heard from one of the girls who sells our old clothes as a means to support her child-headed family.  She mentioned that from the sale of the clothes we left in March she was able to buy medication for her sister who has experienced chronic throat ulcers.  She also bought handigas to be able to cook indoors when it rains and bought some food as well. Thank you for your donations!

We then went to Mazwi and Mphilo's home to say hello.  When we asked Mphilo how her day at school was, she answered "marvelous".  If only I could remain as positive as Mphilo.  We talked to them about their new goats, their baby chickens (just born) and their excitement around their future.  Mazwi is interested in rapping now and even gave us a taste of his new lyrics.  I must admit that I am partial to everything Mazwi says and does... so I might have to start getting into rap now ;) He later texted me that he needs to repeat his video recording because he had not rehearsed enough and was not ready ;)

Here's an excerpt from Hannah:
We made it to eSwatini! As we watched the Indiana-like fields of South Africa turn into hilly, rocky eSwatini, I did some reflecting. It's been 14 months since my first trip with Give Hope and already so much has changed. This time around, the "newness" and raw differences of life here that I was flooded with the first time have been replaced with a sense of comfort and familiarity, allowing me to see things with a fresh perspective and new depth. This is a complicated, beautiful place, and I'm incredibly excited to have another opportunity to give these amazing kids a platform to tell their stories. Already on Day 1, we conducted four interviews! This week we're also going to gather a lot of new footage and photos of Give Hope programs that we haven't gotten before. The possibilities for how we can use this footage and the impacts the videos can have are endless. With an end-of-the-first-day perspective, the week ahead seems long, but I know it's going to end up flying by. Now time to get some sleep so I'm ready for it!

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