Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Vuyani, Fnana, and Siyabonga

They look cute, but bayaganga kakhulu!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Another Type of Countdown

Hello Hello!

Happy Pi Day everyone, and Happy early St Patty’s Day! We’re headed into town for a party on Saturday. Not sure what a St. Patrick’s Day party in Swaziland looks like, but I’m sure there are enough Irish expats and enough of us who just like to have a good time to make it a fun day! Ha.

Before I get any further, I want to give a special shout out to all the G10 invitees out there. It seems like just yesterday I was saying this about the G9 group coming, and about two days ago when I got my invitation! Now, I am leaving. My how time flies! And it really does, G10ers. It really does. Two years is daunting on paper but I guarantee you’ll be looking back soon wondering where your 25 months went. But before all that, before you leave, make sure to eat lots of food that’s not rice, beans, chicken, maize meal, cole slaw and beet roots. We’ve got loads of that here. Hug your friends and family lots and get ready to come have a great time in the Swaz! Your G9 friends are a blast and you’ll have fun with them as well as your fellow G10ers. And us old G8ers will be leaving the reins to you guys… but not before we have a good party for the 4th of July…

That being said… I PICKED MY DAY I’M LEAVING SWAZILAND!! Can you believe it?! I can’t. Absolutely cannot. It’s not 100% official, not until May 29 at COS Conference, but on August 1, 2012, I will be an RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer) and will be leaving Swaziland. In.Sane. That means July 30 will be my last day at my site, my last day with my host family, my last day in my wonderful community! Then it’s a few days in town of closing bank accounts, checking one last time for parasites, my ring out and, of course, one last blow out party at Bombaso’s. But its hard to be too sad when exciting travels and HOME await me after. We’re starting to make more travel plans… actually, not really. Let’s just say we have less crazy ideas but are no more closer to any sort of plan at all. Well, I guess we still have 4 months… eek!

Yes, 4 months. That’s it. And there’s a lot to do!

My project to put a garden at our Neighborhood Care Point for orphans was funded (yay!) so tomorrow we begin building the base to hold the tank to collect water. Two days ago I FINALLY got someone to commit to a gardening workshop after more than a few months of trying, so that’s a big relief. Now we just wait for the rain to come so we can plow the garden and put up the fence. Which is a little bit more than an issue because, well, its not rainy season anymore. I keep telling people we can’t wait until the rains come because I’m leaving in 4 months… here’s hoping it rains tomorrow.

Other than that, I’m working with the schools to get libraries up and running. Up at the Primary School and running at the High School. All with your help thank you! ; ) We are working with two US Embassy Grant Projects to get a library built at the Primary School, so thank you to all of you who pay taxes! And we are waiting for the books to come from America through our Books for Africa project that you all helped donate to! So Thank You America!

Today, we handed in our second proposal for the library at the Primary School at the US Embassy in Mbabane. It was the first time I had ever been to the Embassy, or an Embassy at all. We went through two metal detectors, had my bag searched twice, had to leave my phone and flash drive (?) at the front desk and had to take a sip of my water to show them it wasn’t, I don’t know, bomb fluid of some so? I also took the Head Teacher on her first elevator ride and made her push all the buttons – sustainability right? I didn’t get to go in the second coded entrance inside the office building (yeesh people you’re not THAT important!) but I we had our meeting and handed in our proposal. So think good thoughts! I also over heard one man discussing his visa with the visa officer. He was going to Iowa to help the Bishop of Iowa care for his parishes that needed the most help. There was a lot to think was weird about that conversation, like why he was going to Iowa, and why a man from Swaziland was going to Iowa to help their poor, but I kept my mouth shut. I should have warned him though that there is no lipalishi in Iowa and if you’re going until December, you better have a good coat. Hopefully the nice man behind the desk will tell him. They seemed to be having a good chat about hyphenating last names in this modern age. What brought that on is beyond me, but I guess the visa man behind the glass was lonely and looking for someone to talk to. I was also reminded about 50 times to register to vote in November. Considering there were only Swazis there, I thought those posters and the “CATCHING A TERRORIST IS DANGEROUS BUT IT HAS IT’S REWARDS” posters probably weren’t doing as much good as they would have, say in America, but at least I learned some things today.

Anyway, tomorrow is a full day at the school. The secretary is out for a month while she is getting an HIV/AIDS Counseling Certificate, so I told them I would step in for her every now and again. (As long as it doesn’t interfere with my St. Patty’s Day plans ; ) ) We are supposed to be getting some fruit trees from a local orphanage that has an orchard tomorrow. They will bring and plant them at the school. I hope to convince them to give us a few for our Care Point project so the children can have bananas and oranges… eventually.

Well that’s all I’ve got for now. Hope everyone is doing well and I’ll see you all in just 8 months! : )

Lots of love, Meg