Thursday, October 13, 2011


Monday, September 20, 2010
6:55 p.m.

Interviewing Jim:

What has surprised you the most [about our trip and Africa so far]?

"How friendly the Black Africans are."

(Click on this photo to see their fabulous smiles!)

What have you eaten that you liked the best so far?

"Boerewoer sausage with the tomato whatever-it-was [that I had for breakfast]."

Jim, Anna, and I are sitting at a table at the Ramblas Restaurant in Manzini, [Swaziland]. The rest of our team is divided up between four tables with several AIM staff and one potential AIM staffer, Marc Schiafano.

I am writing now because I am exhausted and will have a hard time writing tonight after supper and sorting ministry supplies at the hotel.

Here's a rundown of the day ---

8:00 Left The Don Hotel.

Drove to Witbank Mall and ate breakfast at the Mugg & Bean.

Anna was shocked by how modern and western the mall was. She was especially surprised to see cute guys and a South African version of Hot Topic called Hip2Go. I spent a long time talking to the shopkeeper. Her name is Caroline. She lives in South Africa but her family is Swazi.

After breakfast, we drove just a short way to a Total Petrol Plaza with a TEEPEE in front of it. The restaurant at the gas station was the Apaloosa Spur, hence the teepee. There were live Apaloosa horses, zebras, rhinos, emus, etc. in the big pens.

We then drove on to Swaziland enjoying the scenery along the way but especially getting excited when we saw the Swazi mountains.

We passed thru border control with no problem and afterwards pointed out points of interest in Mbabane, Ezulwini, etc.

We arrived at the Tum's George Hotel [where we stayed in 2008] between 2 and 3. We were greeted warmly by the staff, especially Xolile who I have kept in touch with over facebook for the last 2.5 years.

She told me that she had talked with Fikile [my domestic worker when I lived in Swaziland in the 80's] over the phone and that Fikile would be calling me today. [This is huge since we'd not spoken since I moved back to America and for a few years, I had feared she had died because I'd not heard from her.]

After we unloaded, we went to Marius' home and saw [his wife] Jodi and their baby.

We left him there and then went to
Kriek and Jumbo Gerber's [two AIM staffers] to discuss the plans for the week and have some cultural training.

While there, we met Marc Schiafano who is here with his wife Jan exploring the option of moving over here. We also met Megan McWhertor who is here with AIM for 2 years and Jumbo's dad, Johannes, who is living with Krieke and Jumbo for a while since his wife died a few months ago.

Now we are here [at Ramblas] for supper. I am really feeling tired but it is still very, very nice to be here [in Swaziland].

OH! And Dennis and Zwakele Brock are also here. They are eating outside with another team.

Julie Anderson and her daughter Ellie are also here. Ellie is 5 and a real cutie. Here mommy is in charge of Timbali Crafts and she adopted Ellie when she was a tiny baby here in Swaziland.

The Bheveni Team with the Gerbers in front of Ramblas

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