On Saturday afternoon Jan & Mandla set off in convoy with the bus for Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport. They, and the bus driver, were booked into a B&B nearby - a scary experience for all three. They were at arrivals at 4.30 on Sunday morning to meet the team for the drive to Swaziland.
By 10 am they had crossed the border, and soon afterwards arrived at Thokoza, the Diocesan Centre, where they are staying in a combination of twin rooms and a self-catering bungalow. After breakfast and a rest they set off for Mlilwane Game Park, where they saw various types of antelope, hippos and zebras; no crocodiles out today.
The team attended Holy Communion in St Matthias’ Church, Ezulwini, and then headed for Thokoza for supper and an early night.
Early on Monday morning the Rathfarnham team set off for Usuthu Mission Anglican Primary School. They were there in time for assembly at 7.45am.
The team divided into 3 groups: one group to build a kitchen; one group to paint classrooms; one group to work with pupils and teachers.
On Thursday we drive over two hours to visit Fr Gregory Makhubu. Rector of Hlangano and surrounding areas, Fr Gregory looks after a number of Neighbourhood Care Points in the south-east of Swaziland. There is great poverty here, malnutrition, and high rates of HIV infection. Fr Gregory estimates that 75% of the pre-school children attending this NCP are HIV positive.
The Care Point is run by the Simelane family, who very kindly allowed us to visit their homestead. Mr Simelane grows a small crop of cotton, which he stores in his sleeping hut.