April 23-26th, 2012
I planned a one night get away to visit two PC friends who lived up in the northern part of the country. It was suppose to be just a quick overnight but turned into a 3 night, 4-day vacation due to a transportation issue. The eastbound transport operators coming from the Manzini bus rank decided they wanted to use a satellite bus rank. There is a satellite rank already across town, however the transport operators didn’t want to use that one, so they created their own on a bit of private property. It is the opposite end of town from the normal and the satellite bus ranks and is just in a giant field. I’m an eastern volunteer so this move includes all of my transportation. The situation was deemed possibly hostile so us volunteers were not allowed to move in and out of Manzini, thus my one night get-away turned into a mini stay-cation.
I wasn’t complaining it was a fun time. The first two nights I stayed at my friend Emma’s homestead. We made dinner with her Make every night and I hadn’t eaten that good in a while. The first night we made individual pizzas – my first pizza since May of last year. I tired making mine with gluten free flour - looks like a pizza, tasted like a pizza, but doesn’t stay together like pizza so it had to be eaten with a fork; the one and only fork that is usually in a Swazi kitchen (they use spoons if they use silverware at all). We then made makeshift s’mores in the oven. The next day Emma helped her Make slaughter a chicken and pluck it. Her Make then made us chicken stew with rice and we made a tomato and fruit salad, and hot chocolate for dessert. It was a feast. The last night I spent at my friend Mia’s, who lives in the same community as Emma.
It is really fun to visit other volunteers. We are all in the same situation yet our homesteads, projects, and communities are all so different. It was great to get walking tours of their community, meet their host families, and see just how they make life work. I always get great ideas of things I can do around my house when I see other volunteer’s homes; PCVs are really creative when it comes to hut living. I am now inspired to revamp my hut!