Thursday, March 12, 2009

Today I went to the US. Embassy to get my passport renewed. You’d think that after being in Swaziland for a year and a half that I wouldn’t be figuring out new things anymore, but alas, pretty much every day is still an adventure. I thought it would take me a few minutes. Finally, on the third trip back to the Embassy, I was able to submit the application. I should have my passport back in two weeks. It’s amazing how vulnerable I feel without my passport. It’s that bit of security when you’re in a foreign country.

Then I took two ladies who are on the executive committee for the Manyano in Central Swaziland District to see Mthokoisiwe’s sister. Both ladies are Swazi, very well educated, successful business women and pretty well off. They couldn’t believe where I was taking them and then they couldn’t believe what they saw. They thought it was so cute that the kids recognized me and came running to meet me. And they were amazed that I knew their names. When we left they said they didn’t know how Thoko, the other volunteers and I do this. They said they had every emotion possible. They were trying to hard not to be mad, hate the parents of these children who have abandoned them, be mad at the Chief for allowing this to happen, etc. I completely understood. It was good we went today. We discovered they have an older sister who is 18 years old. She was at the homestead, but she was working in Ezweleni and living somewhere near there. She lost her job or quit and so she came home for the week. She said she is going back to look for a job next week. She told us the mother lives not far from the homestead. That really made us angry, confused, etc. It sounds like the father is abusive which is why the mother left. But none of us could understand why she didn’t take the kids and why she never goes and checks on them. One of life’s mysteries I just don’t get.

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