Sunday, October 27, 2013

Swaziland - Day 4 - So Much Hope!

I just need to start this post by saying what a rock star this girl was on this trip!!
She faced some challenges with jeg lag, her gluten free diet, a crazy schedule, culture shock, and lots of time with only us boring adults.  She was so much fun to be around and really added value to our team
Here she is ready to go for Day 4!
 Morning breakfast with the team at Asante
 I did not get my camera out much on this trip.  Every time I thought to, I saw at least 2 others around me taking pictures and thought, "I will just get their pics when we return."  I still plan to do that, but at this point I haven't.  So, I will have to describe a few things in this post without the pics to go along with it.  Maybe I can add them in later!  I will admit, it was nice to just "be" in the moment and not feel like I had to capture it in pictures.

On Day 4, we headed to Children's Cup's Global Leadership Academy.  This is an amazing 9-month program that takes mostly college-aged Swazi men and women who have demonstrated leadership and responsibility.  There are currently 28 students in the program.  They will "graduate" in the middle of November.  They have spent their time being discipled spiritually and trained in very practical life application skills.  They have responsibilities they must fulfill.  They live in community with the other participants.  They take classes.  They rotate preparing and cleaning up for meals.  They participate in sustainability projects.  You can see some testimonies here.

I want to create a picture for you in your mind.  Our arrival at the GLA campus was really spectacular.  Rick has been there before, but this was my first visit.  I did not know what to expect.  As we were driving up to the grounds, all of the students were lined up waiting for us.  They were jumping up and down cheering for us.  It was quite the welcome and really represented the spirit of this place.  They immediately welcomed us with open arms.  It was such a place of joy and love.

Our time started with one of the most amazing worship experiences I have ever had.  We gathered in a huge circle.  People would randomly break out in song.  We would sing, and all I could do is shut my eyes and praise God for the amazing work He has done in the lives all around me.  Then we took some time where our team shared words of encouragement.  After that we had the privilege of hearing testimonies from the students.  It was so powerful to hear all that God has done in their lives.  I could see the future of Swaziland in these leaders and it was so bright!!

They took us on a tour of their dorms and campus.  It really was a beautiful place.
The round buildings are their dorms.  They have really nice quarters and sleep two to a room.  They each have their own bed, desk, and closet space.  Their rooms were spotless!  
 We were able to see the various sustainability projects they are working on that they hope to duplicate at homesteads.  This is a tilapia farm/garden system they are trying.
 The small pond of tilapia creates what is needed to grow the tomato plants without any dirt.  
 The tilapia will reproduce and can be sold while the vegetables grown can also be eaten or sold.
 Each student helps with the garden they are growing. 
 The food produced is used in the meals they prepare.
 I was so impressed with everything about this program.  I know that God's Hand is all over this.

In the afternoon, the guys and girls split up to do our own things.  Holly, Abby, and I headed over to the McAdams house to hang out while the guys went to visit some sustainability projects.

This is sweet Mukelo(a.k.a. Mumu).  She is 3 years old and is the foster child of the McAdams family.  She is such a little sweetheart.  They love her so well!
 I have waited for this day:  sitting with Amy in her home, drinking sweet tea, and chatting about life.  So fun!!
 We spent the afternoon chatting and working in the kitchen.  The McAdams were hosting our team and another team(surprisingly, also from Colorado Springs) in their home for dinner that night.  They were expecting about 40 people.  Abby got to spend the afternoon with her girls which I am sure was a much needed break for her from us boring adults!!

There is just something about working in the kitchen together with other women that fills my love bucket.  It just feels like community to me.  We had a Swazi meal of Fat Cakes.  They are basically a doughnut that you split open and eat like a Sloppy Joe with a ground beef mixture or you put jam or syrup with shredded cheese on it.  It was surprisingly good!!

Thank you, Amy, for letting us invade your home for the afternoon and evening!!  I can't wait to come over again!!

The guys headed out to see the farms that have been growing and providing food for the carepoints.

A few years ago, Beyond Survival invested in some land to begin a Rose Geranium Farm that we hoped would be a great sustainability project.  We are excited to share that this project has provided 20 jobs and $25,000 in school fees for kids who would not be able to go to school otherwise!!
Here is a picture of the farm.
 The oil is extracted from the plants and sold to be used as a base in perfumes.  The beauty of this plant is that it can be harvested every 6-8 weeks throughout the year and grows very well in the climate of Swaziland.  You can read more about Project H2H here.
They have also begun using some of the land to grow crops.
Cabbages grow to amazing proportions here!
 That is one beautiful cabbage!!
 They are also growing corn and are hoping to try strawberries soon!
 There is a pump in this water to use as irrigation for the crops
 I just love this pic
 Spring truly is a beautiful time of year in Swaziland!
Can you see the purple Jacaranda tree in this pic?
We could see them everywhere we went!

A rare moment of internet in our room.
I had to capture it!
 Our evening meal at the McAdams!
It was so great to see our friend, Elliott(next to Abby)
 We loved seeing our friend, Julie(on the right) and
 meeting the interns who are currently serving with AIM
 Joe and Holly
 Right after this pic, I just had to pick Mumu up and hold her.  Precious!
 Jumbo and Steve
Every day, I would think, "How can it get any better than this?"  Every day brought new adventures that amazed me more.  Just when I thought I couldn't possibly love Swaziland any more, I fell in love with new things about this amazing country!!

1 comment:

  1. oh my gosh! awesome things going on! love it! and way to go abby!