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)