Thursday, November 03, 2011


I had taken a break from posting about our last year's trip because my travel journal was temporarily missing. Yeah, lost passports, lost travel journals, lost brain cells. Story. Of. My. Life. The absent journal has been located and so I'll now pick back up where I had left off.

September 25, 2010
10:22 p.m.

Today is Travis' 7th birthday back in the States so I am really missing him and his siblings today. As much as I love being here, I feel sad that I am missing his special day. We did celebrate it before our trip --- baked the cake and even opened gifts early. But still, this is one of the times that I really wish I could be two places at once. And shame, next Sunday I will miss Laura Grace's birthday. At the carepoint today, I had a bunch of the kids sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY while I videotaped. It will be fun to show it to him.

Okay - so here are the highlights of today:

*At breakfast, Mfana Simelane came to visit. He was one of the youth in SWAT back during my journeyman [missionary] days. He is 40 years old now! He is doing great. He is married with 2 daughters. He is a social worker for the government plus he ministers thru a teen boys'/young men's soccer team and has a Sunday School class in his home in Mondoza, a neighborhood of Manzini. His mother, who we called Granny at [Mbabane International Baptist Preschool and served as the cook and cleaner], died from a brain tumor. His sister Nomphumalelo [who was a teacher at the preschool in Mbabane] works at a creche [preschool] as something that sounds like what I did at the Mbabane Preschool --- training teachers, etc. He showed me many, many photographs and gave me one of him and his family plus a mug with his soccer team on it. [He also told me that the head teacher that I knew, Beatrice Dudu, has also now died. I hated to hear this. She was one of the Swazi teachers I really hoped to see again one day.]

*At Bheveni, we had the party. We did face-painting...

...a space jump, games...

...songs, the giving of gifts (sweeties, silly bands, bubbles, etc.) plus the backpacks that still were needed...

... plus a BIG feast.

The meal consisted of beef soup and chicken soup over rice, beet salad, and potato salad plus ginger cookies.

It was kumnandze (delicious) and we were able to watch them do much of the cooking while we were there, though some of them had slept at the carepoint so they could start cooking at 3:00 in the morning!

*We gave the bomake [mothers] and bogogo [grandmothers] a KFC meal as a thank-you treat after they served the kids. [Kentucky Fried Chicken is very popular in Swaziland.]

*Saying goodbye to the children was hard. It is hard enough knowing it might be a year or two before we return, but extra hard knowing some we may never see --- whether it is because they move away or die. I gave our sponsored child, Banele, extra hugs today and told her we would always love and pray for her.

*We were unable to see our other sponsored child, Nocolo, as she goes to a school "far away".

*After the party, we left and went to the Ezulweni craft market where we bought, among other things, a Noah's Ark set, beaded cups, hairbands, and a crocheted teddy bear.

*We ate supper at Quartermain's. Jim had "eisbein" which was a giant, pork shoulder that was glazed. I had beef curry. Dennis, Zwakele, Kriek, and Elliott (our driver) joined the B-Team.

Tomorrow we go to Pastor Walter's church at Timbutini. Dennis is the associate pastor. Then after church, we will leave straight for Nelspruit. I know it is going to be hard for the team to say goodbye to Swaziland.

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