Monday, August 22, 2011

August 18: Another great day!

Wednesday morning showed up nice and sunny. Everyone had a good breakfast and then headed off to work with our driver Muzie (an amazing source of info into Swazi culture and all around nice guy!!!). We stopped on the way at the local garden supply in Mbabane to buy some seedlings and supplies to build the cold frame. We couldn’t find poly for the life of us and ended up settling for some hefty, clear plastic bags which we duct taped together (yet another of the many uses for duct tape!). We brought some of the seedlings on outreach and the garden crew took some to their site as well. More bricks were laid at the construction site… the gardeners planted all the starts and those of us on outreach built the cold frame. We picked up a young man from the SOS Village who wanted to help us out. He worked alongside us as well as served as translator. Caisa is 14 years old and quite an amazing young man. He discussed basic economics and world politics with me on the ride! I asked him if he liked Canada to which he replied “Yes, I will go there one day. Notice I did not say I want to go there… I said I WILL go”. He is a very determined and positive person. While walking the path through the mountain village later in the afternoon I noticed, among all the other trash, a used condom wrapper. At least we know there is some access to harm-reduction supplies in these outlying communities. Personally, being in the village really gives me a sense of the tribal nature of their communities. The children all know and play games that appear to be based on tribal chants and dances. Every one of them seems to know the appropriate call and response as well as the movement to go with it. The children seem to really look out for on another. It’s not uncommon for you to see a 10 or 12 year old girl carrying a 2 year old baby on her back. These young children commonly walk the dirt tracks of their village with not an adult in sight but I feel certain that the rest of the community is looking out for them. As the old saying goes “It takes a whole village to raise a child” (very loose paraphrase there… lol).

We all met up at the end of our work day feeling tired out and ready to let loose a bit. Back at the Legends Lodge we hit the restaurant for dinner where the “rowdies” (not mentioning any names here Kira, Bob or Harp…) got the energy started and we all hit the courtyard for some socializing and winding down. Another great day for team Swaziland!!!

DWC Participant

Dan McGowan
Swaziland 2011

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