Hitting the Ground Running!

6:30 pm  (Thursday)  Land in JoBurg after 25 hours of travel

2:20 am  (Friday)  Awake.  “Hello jet-lag”.

4:30 am   Alarm goes off.

5:00 am   Picked up for airport.  Breakfast.  Flight to Swaziland.

7:35 am    Arrive in Swaziland.  Picked up by Jumbo.  To his place for ‘2nd breakfast’.

9:00 am   Team Meeting to devise a strategy for our time here.  Come up with some great plans before we leave next Thursday to take the whole team of 24 to the Global Leadership Summit in Johannesburg.

10:00 am  Off to a Community Meeting at Timbulini Care Point.  About 80-90 mom’s show up.  D-Team leads meeting about school fees and the Care Point operations.  On the way, while talking to Jumbo we discover some interesting bits of info:

–  Jumbo and his team are now overseeing 33 Care Points with 5600 kids!

–  Jumbo has three main ‘side businesses’ that are helping to produce food for Care Points and money for school fees.  (He is very entrepreneurial!)  Their latest scheme has raised about $15,000 for school fees.  It’s a scrap metal business.  He also runs an 18hec farm (which produced 16 tonnes of corn this year.  They bought a $4000 machine to grind the corn and make their own millimaze).  Then there is the perfume business which has made about $13,000 for school fees this year!

10:35 am   The Community Meeting actually starts and goes very well.  We help bag an orange and apple for each of the guests from the community who attended.

11:50 am   Cam and i capture 3 ‘shout-out-to-Riverwood’ videos from Children’s Hope Chest workers.

12:15 pm   Our driver for the day, Sandile drives us back to Manzini for a lunch meeting with Pastor Peter and Precious.  (we have awesome, Swazi ‘peri-peri’ chicken!).  We also discover that tomorrow is Precious’ sister’s wedding.  ‘Holy’ (her sister’s name) is getting married on Saturday with a guest list of about 600 people.  Peter and Precious are running around getting all the stuff together…and Cam and i get invited to the wedding.  So tomorrow is wedding day!

1:55 pm   Arrive at Enaleni for a quick visit of the Care Point.

We walk in towards the end of Teacher-Nancy’s lesson with the pre-school class.  They can’t resist having an audience, so Nancy has these 3,4 and 5 year old’s recite the 10 Commandments (word-for-word)…recite Psalm 23 (the WHOLE thing) and sing a couple of songs!   (Personally feel if that’s all I came to Swaziland for and it was time to go home it would be OK!  It was that moving!)

PS…how many of us (or our kids) know the 10 Commandment let alone can recite them?

3:15 pm  Arrive at Bhobhokazi…as we drive up, kids are carrying (or wheelbarrowing big jugs of water) away from the Care Point.  Bhobhokazi’s water (only made possible thru the generosity of Riverwooders) has become life to the whole community!


We pull up just as the GoGo’s are finishing dishes after feeding the kids.  Thru a translator i had a chance to tell them how much was all appreciated the work they do there everyday.  In this little kitchen, they cook for 80-90 kids each day…without getting paid a dime for their efforts.  These are amazing women!

We also get to watch what some of the kids do after school.  Nope.  Not play Wii.  Not surf the web.  No piano or guitar lessons here.  They play ‘The Bottle Game’.  A remarkable game of skill that is going to be incredibly hard to describe…other than it involves not getting hit by a tennis ball…while trying to fill a plastic pop bottle with sandy gravel.  Very inventive and at times…dangerous.

4:30 pm   Arrive at Asante, our guest house while we’re in Swaziland.

4:32 pm    Attempt to connect with Carolyn via FaceTime, FaceBook, eMail, text and Skype.

4:45 pm   Give up trying to connect and leave for dinner with all of the American CHC/AIM Staff at Julie’s house.  Tonight about 17 of them are gathering for an amazing Mexican meal…followed by some worship and devotions.

8:30 pm  We’re back at Asante…updating the blog, attempting to connect with home and getting ourselves ready for a wedding that we’re told could last 6-7 HOURS!!!!!!

8:43 pm  Sleeping Beauty…(a.k.a. Cam) is out like a light  and drooling all over his pillow next to me in our pushed-together twin beds.  i think it’s time to find a way to pull these beds apart.

Thanks for joining us for a first, great day in Swaziland!

– Todd…(and Cam…sort of)

8 thoughts on “Hitting the Ground Running!

  1. Glad you guys made it safe and sound. I hope the adrenaline carries you through the 7 hour wedding! I knew Jumbo has a couple businesses going on but wow! I’m moved by how much he’s doing and how much $ he’s raising for the kids. Well, enjoy every moment. I’m really looking forward to seeing the long term effects of the Summit and this whole experience on the team and Swaziland!

  2. Feeling “homesick” for Swaziland as I look at the pictures and read the stories. Loved hearing about all that the children are learning at the Enaleni Preschool – AMAZING! Loved seeing the families around Bhobokazi accessing the water! Love that many of us at Riverwood have had the opportunity to be apart of the Enaleni & Bhobokazi story in one way or another! Love that our Riverwood family made it possible for our dear Swazi partners to attend the Summit and grow in their leadership!

    Have fun at the wedding and remember to not eat the yellow vegetables!!

  3. Wow what a full day! The stories and the photos brought back some amazing memories! Nancy is so amazing. i can hardly wait to hear those kids! Sooooooo glad that you are there……….praying for all that you will experience and that all have an amzing encounter at the summt.

  4. Cheering you on as always!

    As for your question: I can show you the ten commandments, because my kids came home saying they had to learn them. Way to go Kidzone! We found a fun way to do it with hand signs from Youtube – and I’ve never forgotten the “kid” way of doing it.

    Might be a fun challenge for us to do as a church. 😀

    Have an awesome time at the wedding – and make Cam take lots of pics!! Be blessed, and continue to walk faithfully in the path He has set for you.

  5. Awesome update! I ditto what Carolyn said! Loved seeing the enaleni preschool and nancy! Great to hear the water at bobo is being used for the community! Kind of wish I was there. Living the moments and memories of the places and people with you both. Have a great time!!!

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