Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Wednesday 1/30/08

In morning went to Swazi Candle --- it has really expanded w/more shops, etc.

On top of the candles and other craft items inside the main shop, there is an outdoor market area. That is where I bought my Swazi flag earrings and necklace.

Then to craft market in Ezulweni [pictured below]. Bought chess sets, small elephants, nets w/ beads, etc. Prices a bit more than Manzini market.
Ty Samson, Daughter A, and Driver Sandile stand in front of the market.

Another precious Swazi baby peacefully sleeps amidst all the buying and selling. This one belongs to one of the women at the craft market.
Fasted lunch. Gave it to the "pickers" who live off the dump after visiting a Children's Cup carepoint across the way. The children there go to school for free. They recited many Bible verses for us.

GuGu Dynamite started the schools originally approximately 10 years ago to educate the squatter's children & also give them something to do during the day except have physical relations. [Go to this blog link to read more of the truly incredible story of GuGu Dynamite.]

Above is the Manzini dump. Below is the school located just across a busy, main road.

Above is GuGu and below I'm pictured with one of the teachers and pupils.

These students were incredibly smart and well behaved.
Here I am with another teacher. She teaches the 2nd year students. The children recited many scripture verses for us, said their phonics sounds, and said the 10 Commandments.
Below are photos taken outside of the school.
I loved the little feet sticking out from behind the make's (mother's) feet.

These are girls who have benefitted from the ministry of Children's Cup and GuGu Dynamite.

This community is considered a "squatter's village" because the houses have been built here without proper authorization, payment, etc. The people living here are among the poorest of the poor in the Manzini area.
Trash heap beside the homes with peelings from a fruit used to make a homemade alcoholic beverage.
Another scene just outside the fence surrounding the school.
Second part of Wednesday to be continued.


Karen Deborah said...

OK this is going to sound stupid, but if the kids are eating out of the dump why are the teachers fat?

Elysa said...

No, it's not a dumb question at all, Karen.

Most of it is strictly genetics and how the Swazis are built. Even the little kids that are starving...maybe eating only a few meals a week...will rarely look bone thin. They're just not made that way. With a lot of the kids, they look cute and plump with no sign of malnutrition until you start to notice things like their hair turning yellow.

And the women...they'll usually stay relatively slim to slightly plump during their teenage and early 20's but as soon as they start having children, they usually start really getting curvy. And it doesn't seem to matter if they're eating a lot or exercising.

Case in point, my maid Fikile. Fikile was my age. So this put her in her mid-20's back when I lived there in the 80's. She walked all the way from her home on one side of the capital city to my home once a week, to my land lady's 3 times a week, and to my neighbors's once a week to clean our houses. That was, I'm estimating, about 8 or 10 miles A DAY!!! Sometimes she took the bus, but rarely because the bus of expense.

And what did she eat? Maybe a piece of bread for breakfast. Then I fed her tea and 3 or 4 cookies (not big ones...talking small size here) for teatime, a nice lunch of my making (soup or casserole with bread or whatever I was having) and then for supper she'd eat mealie meal porridge with a broth or vegetable soup over it (the kind that comes out of a packet...NOT nice, thick veggie soup).

And yet she was at least a size 16 if not a size 18 or so.

Their bodies hold the fat to carry them over the lean times.

They are not built like other tribes that you see on tv where the people look like skin stretched over bones. You will see that in Swaziland...but it's usually when they're dying from AIDS, not because they're hungry.

Does that clear things up?

And btw, the kids did get fed at least one meal a day if not two at the carepoint thanks to the ministry of Children's Cup.