Bright eyed and not so bushy tailed we all gathered around the newly installed garage doors at SACRO for a serious photo op. Word has it that we're going to be in the local newspaper tomorrow. Hopefully it will be some good advertisement for SACRO and hopefully Shadrack isn't too offended that he's not in the picture. After all, we have no doubt about who ran the show and made sure the work got done right.
On the road again we took a trip out to the rural areas of Manzini, particularly Nsoko and Lubulini. One of the cool things about this was that the community we visited was where our friend Sibusiso grew up. We met the Chief of the community (see photo below) who also acted as our tour guide for the day. As we walked on the beaten path we were able to see the living conditions, livestock, and children playing. It was an opportunity to observe and fully absorb all that we were witness to. The images are extremely stark and raw and yet the people maintain a vibrant spirit and sense of life.
As we continued on our journey we were able to visit several schools, both primary and secondary. The school day was in full swing. The children and teachers were more than willing to welcome us in and say "Salebona" (aka hello). We toured various classrooms and engaged with some of the kids via photos and games. Seeing the conditions of classrooms, desks, and kitchens is in huge contrast to their eagerness to learn. For many of us today the impressions will be long lasting.
Through all the experiences of the day the images and various levels of poverty were pervasive. It was in stark contrast to our personal experiences and left many of us with more questions than answers. It was truly sobering and humbling. It is definitely going to take us a long time to realize the impact of those images and what we choose to do about it in our own personal lives.
Lesson of the Day: We are truly blessed beyond measure!
August 2013, Swaziland