Part of the group, myself and Kelly, went with Sibusiso to the SACRO Drop-In-Center in Mbabane. We were introduced to staff, toured the facility, and scoped out the area where we hope to cultivate and plant a garden with the children. We had a stimulating and eye opening conversation with Sibusiso and Sihle (Social Workers for both programs) wherein we learned more about the program, it's vision, and goals. The Drop-In-Center functions as a support system for over sixty children living in the area. Their main goal is crime prevention by keeping children off of the streets. Through several donors and partners the program is able to meet some of the basic needs for these children such as, provide a warm and nutritious meal, support with homework, and life skills teaching. In the coming days the group will have several opportunities to interact with the children. Stay tuned.
Back at the work site the other part of the crew worked tirelessly removing several dilapidated garage doors and beginning to replace them with new, shinny, lightweight roll up doors. It seems that Mirella is stronger than she realized and accidentally broke the hammer drill - oops! We were also stunned to find that we've unleashed a 'monster' in Gillian as she demonstrated here prowess with the drill. As luck would have it one of the small business owners in the SACRO complex was a welder and he was able to display his talent for fixing drill shafts. Unfortunately it was more of a bandaid than a remedy.
From today's experiences, we are seeing how the work with the children and the improvements that are being made for the ex-prisoners complement each other. For the rest of our adventure we look forward to seeing how the mission and vision of two distinct programs help young children, adults, and their local community. We look forward to sharing with you more about what we learn and experience as the weeks go by in beautiful Swaziland.
A bonus of our stay at the Road Lodge is the befriending of our night watchman, Futi. We have seen pictures of his beautiful family and have taken him on as a member of our family, particularly at dinner time. This evening's meal, again compliments of Chef Tommy and Sous Chef Chris, consisted of stir-fry and gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. Yum yum!
Lesson of the Day: Having the right tools is half the battle.
Disclaimer: I am suffering from a bit of a stomach bug today so Kelly contributed the words of wisdom; he's also a year or two older.
Swaziland, July 2013