We are still in Swaziland. No, we have not been carried off by wild animals nor have we vanished into Swazi thin air. We are still here, and it is about time I get blogging again.
This is a bit like cleaning the disaster in a closet…I just don’t know where to begin. We have experienced so much change, and have so many interesting things to share, that I am overwhelmed by the thought of blogging it.
I figure that much like the closet, I just need to begin.
We are still in the process of settling in. The dinning table that was promised us in 20 days is still not ready…90 days later. I have a huge stack of paper on my desk that I need to tackle, but haven’t been able to do it because we haven’t had the file folders and paper storage in order to put it away. As you can imagine, moving to another continent is a big deal, and it is the little details that seam to leave me a bit de-railed.
That said, the move to Swaziland has been awesome. I really do like it here and I believe I can safely say the same for Rob. The landscape and natural beauty is almost unreal it is so profound…and the people! The people are where the real beauty lies.
We have been getting more and more involved at the farm and school at New Life Homes. I find that I am just “at peace” when I am there. Everything feels good and right, just being on the farm. I have been helping in the classroom and teaching in bits and pieces where needed. I love teaching these kids. Love, love, being in the classroom. I will begin formal teaching third term, which begins mid-September. I will have grades 4 and 5.
Who can resist these darlings?
I also love that New Life Homes serves orphan children AND children in the community (the nearby community is called Kamfishane). The girls in these shots are local children whose best hope at a decent education is to attend our school. What an opportunity to reach into this area with the love and hope of Christ. Sharing God’s love with these little people is easy…you just can’t help but love them to pieces.
Swaziland is full of natural wonder. We spend about 30 minutes driving each direction to the farm and wow…the views are something else. I can’t tell you how many jaw-dropping rides we have had. Well… except the part about needing to close our mouths because of the dust. But that’s another story…
When you visit Swaziland you will find that life here is a paradox. Despite the natural beauty, roads can often be littered with trash, the air filled with smoke from burning, and the towns have a smattering of buildings in disarray. In a country where most of the population lives on less than $2 a day, still carries their water, and exists on a diet of primarily corn porridge, you find BMW and Benz flying down the highway, gloriously clad women and smartly dressed men meandering through town on their way to the spas, casinos, and shopping, and new construction in nearly every corner of the country. Even just knowing that there are 14 palaces to house the king’s wives is enough paradox to throw you into disbelief. It is cosmic…even mind-blowing… to come up from a poor community like Kamfishane and buy groceries or have lunch in a place like Ezulwini, where the “rich play.”
I’d rather hang in Kamfishane.
That said, we do occasionally get out. For the last two weeks we have had a visitor. Tiersa came to visit us from Gig Harbor. Of course we spent time showing off the farm and playing with the kids. She is a seasoned pre-school teacher who wanted nothing more than to be in the pre-school. It was fun to see her work her little people magic!
We also took her around Swaziland to show her the sights and do some fun things while she was here. We visited a game park, the market, and took her to lunch at a fun, artsy place…the Swazi Candle Factory. Yes…Swaziland is known for its beautiful candles, and the factory, along with the restaurant and souvenir shopping, is a welcome respite.
The outdoor restaurant is cozy and family-friendly…complete with a play area, which means people like me can actually have a conversation with the adults. Like I said, respite.
Thanks Tiersa… for great conversation and fellowship.
For more photos, please click on the “snap-shots” page and follow the link to Picasa. I was hoping to load our photos right on the blog, but with slow internet, (think dial-up) I am having trouble getting them…or at least that many…to this website. The ease of Picasa is appealing even if it takes 12 hours to upload. check us out!
More in a few days….Love, jennifer