Swaziland: Day 3

Wednesday, late: It’s gone a little differently today. Originally the team was meant to do three or four distributions. That got cut to two – and since the locations were close to each other, it was then decided to do them both in succession, rather than have a lunch break in between.

First one was for another set of schoolkids, in what looked like a giant playground. Probably around 500 kids – from pre-school to around 14 years of age. Once Bish Zakes got them going, they were pretty loud. It was fun just recording what sounded like one long, continuous scream of joy. A lovely sound (bear with me here; I’m a radio person, so I’m into sounds. I like working with ‘em and I enjoy playing with ‘em. Well actually, playing with ‘em is my job, so…).

Second one was in a kraal belonging to royalty. I actually got to meet a chief and have my pic taken with him! Mostly little toddlers on this one. It must have been a bit overwhelming for them, because lots of them cried like mad – and it wasn’t the joyous screaming we’d had at the first distribution. We were told later that in that area, little children associate white people with injections, and that’s what caused all the tears. Hmm – seems “Dr. No Shot” in Scrubs had a point…

A couple of bits of feedback from yesterday’s distributions came out of the blue this afternoon. We stopped for lunch at a restaurant near the site of yesterday’s big distribution. Virginia, the lady who runs the place, was overjoyed to see the team. She told us about a couple of women she employs, whose kids received gifts yesterday. School fees were due in February, and so these women had to forgo buying certain things their kids needed, just so that their wages could stretch to paying their fees. All the things they hadn’t been able to buy for their kids that month were in the boxes they were given!

After lunch, we went for a walk though a market area in Pigg’s Peak. Mike and I were approached by a lady who shook our hands and proceeded to thank us for coming. “The children are very grateful for their gifts. They’ve taken things out of their boxes to give as gifts to their parents!”

The rest of the day has been good for chilling and reflection – not to mention a nice dip in the lodge’s swimming pool. Turns out Clement is also a swimming teacher, so he gave me a few pointers on how to improve my forward crawl!

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