Happy New Year from eSwatini! 2020

Guys, we have been trying to post a blog the last couple of days.  Yesterday the wifi was out, today it’s the power.  There was a really strong thunderstorm and we haven’t had electricity since.  As soon as I am able, I will post this!

Life is hard here in Swaziland.  There are struggles in the communities due to jealousy mostly, but also just greed.  After delivering the chickens to the child-headed homes this week and showering to rud our  bodies of the AWFUL POOP SMELL 😉 we high fived a job well done. But nothing is ever that easy here.  We soon found out that there was a fox in the hen hole and it wasn’t an animal, yet a human wishing to steal the orphaned children’s chickens. We consequently bought locks for the chicken coops and tried to arrange for people to watch the chickens while the kids were in school, but at the end of the day, nothing is going to stop a determined thief.  Who would steal from a child orphaned and alone in a small one room hut with no basic necessities, you might ask? I had the exact same question...  So far, they’re all safe. Happily chirping, locked in their new homes.

Yesterday we delivered aid to Malindza (school uniforms/supplies, soap, sanitary pads – even iPhones thanks to my badass partner Kait, her mom Maureen and our long time donor Jan. These phones help keep the kids safe and help them with their college assignments/research projects) And then went two nights ago to a child-headed home in eLangeni where we’ve been shooting off fireworks and dancing into the new year for over a decade.  It’s INCREDIBLE to have been so privileged to watch these kids grow and thrive.  It’s my biggest blessing.

The girls went on safari yesterday and saw a bunch of animals including a baby elephant.  Mama elephant wasn’t super impressed by how close they got to her baby and charged their jeep.  Luckily, the driver backed full speed in reverse and high tailed it out of there! 

And finally, today we hosted a clinic in a very remote area of Malindza under a tree.  There was an entire “shelter” of double orphans waiting for us. Luckily thanks to Susan’s friends & the Chi O girls, we had an entire suitcase full of bras, stuffed animals, toys and other gifts.  The kids went wild. Today Lexi has been a little sick.  She has had a sore throat for the whole week but today got a bit worse.  She took medication after medication to combat her symptoms – an added reminder of our privilege.  Most of what the people asked for today at the clinic was Tylenol or ibuprofen. 

We just got home from Mazwi and Mphilo’s home with Nomfundo, Nosipho, Junior, Nelly, and Zinhle.  It’s bizarre to feel fully at home in two places on opposite sides of the world.  Tonight, although I’m missing my 4 year old and my husband, there was no place in the entire world I’d rather be.  I listened to Mphilo talk about the amazing Christmas she had thanks to my friend Kandas for including her and Mazwi in his family’s celebrations.  I listened to Nomfundo talk about her dreams of becoming a business woman in the future.  I listened to Nosipho talk about anything – every single word that comes out of her mouth is joined with a joyous laugh.  She laugh-talks. It’s amazing.  I’ve never seen anyone more genuinely happy in my entire life.  And I had “the talk” with Mazwi (age 16) asking how many wives he planned to have, he didn’t hesitate.  ONE.  Good boy.  Then, I asked Junior (age 6) and immediately he held up 1 finger.  We teach them young lol. 

Goodnight and happy 2020 from Swaziland. Thank you for all of your past support and your continued support. Thank you to all of my volunteers’ parents for sharing your kids (even you, Jean, sharing your “big kid Susan”).  It’s not lost on me that this is often family time.  I’m grateful you allowed them to be introduced to this amazing Give Hope, Fight Poverty family we love so very much.  Thanks for every single dollar… every penny.  We could do nothing without you!! 2020 blessings to you all, and goodnight from eSwatini!

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