Sunday, August 31, 2008

As my last blog indicated, my week started out on a frustrated note. The week didn’t improve much. It has been one of those weeks where I did more waiting around than doing anything productive which makes me wonder what I am doing here. I phoned the chairperson of the NCH committee on Monday and he said he’d call me back in the afternoon so we could talk. He didn’t so I called him Tuesday morning and he said he would call me around lunch to set a time. He didn’t call. Then he set up for us to have lunch on Thursday - no show again. Then he said Saturday after a church meeting in the morning. You guessed it, no show and no call. So basically I spent three days sitting in my little abode waiting for his call, not wanting to miss it because I know he is very busy, but I give up.

Wednesday was a great day. A friend from my Wednesday morning bible study and I escaped from Swaziland for the day and drove to Nelsprit, South Africa. We left early in the morning terrible fog and mist. The fog didn’t start to lift until we were almost to Nelsprit. The countryside we drive through to get to Nelsprit is absolutely beautiful even at this time of the year when everything is still brown from winter and the lack of rain. On the way back the clouds were very high and I could see why this area is called the African Alps. Our purpose for the day was to go to the mall, have a great cup of coffee, walk around the mall and then have lunch and head home. We lived up to that agenda and had a great time. It was just good to get away, have good girl take and great coffee and food.

Yesterday (Saturday), I woke up, did bible study for a couple of hours, then dusted, swept the floors and picked up my little abode. That took all of about an hour and a half. So I sat down, listened to some music and read a good mystery. As I was sitting all day reading the book without anything else to do, I thought how lucky I was to do this because there were so many times over the years when I would have given anything to do this. The wind started blowing very hard in the afternoon and evening. I could literally see the dust blow in through the cracks in the windows and around the door. Between the smoke from fires that the wind was fanning and the dust off of the soccer field and dirt roads around here, you could barely see 50 feet away from you. So much for cleaning.

I finished my book Saturday night. I could feel the dust on the cover as I was holding it. This morning I decided to drive to Ezulwini to attend the International Church. I went there for the first time last Sunday with Mary Beth and her husband. The praise band sings in English and the sermon is in English. I felt that after a frustrating week which has left me feeling very alone and isolated wondering why I am in Swaziland, I needed to worship in my native language. I just didn’t think I could sit through 2 ½ hours of service where I didn’t understand a word. However, I was a little apprehensive about driving to Ezulwini, the cultural and traditional home of Swaziland; because tomorrow is the annual reed dance and next Saturday is the King’s birthday and the 40th anniversary of Swaziland’s Independence. Thousands and thousands of girls between the ages of about 13 and 15 are transported in the back of vehicles that look like shallow dump trucks to Ezulwini so they can perform this dance before the King. Supposedly the King picks his next wife from those dancing. I didn’t know if there would be a lot of traffic in Ezulwini. The drive there was beautiful. The wind had died down a little and had cleared much of the smoke out of the air. As I got to Ezulwini I started seeing young girls walking everywhere – down the roads, through the fields, just everywhere. As I drove by the river that runs through that area you could see lots of girls bathing in the river.

The church service was good. I was glad I got out and drove up there. I missed the turn to get to the highway on the way back so I had to drive through the area where the girls will be staying. It wasn’t too bad traffic wise, but the thought of the practice of the dance, the King’s polygamy and all of the money (millions) that is being spent on his 40th birthday and the 40th anniversary of Independence while so much is needed in this country was foremost in my mind. So I’m back in my little abode. The wind has picked up again; it sounds like a freight train is running through the place and I can see the dust on everything and feel it in my nose and throat. The sky has taken on that yellowish-gray hue. The power went out for awhile but it is back on. I’ll have today and tomorrow to endure with nothing to do because everything is focused on the King and his celebrations. I’m thankful I have a laptop, some DVD’s and a few more mystery books that were given to me to pass the time of day. I think I’ll skip dusting again until the wind dies down. Next weekend will be more of the same.

Please pray for this country, its government and the very pagan practices that go on here. Also pray for Christianity to take more of a stronghold here. Pray for my strength to endure this time of the year. Schools will start back up on September 9th and I can’t wait.

God bless you all.

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