July 4th, 2012
Best Fourth of July In Swaziland Ever!!!
We had a real BBQ at our Country Director’s house. There was great food: hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, beans, coleslaw, and deserts galore. It was awesome and felt so American! All the PCVs were there, which now include Group 7 extenders, Group 8, Group 9, and the fresh off the boat Group 10. They have been here now for 6 days and look so clean! It was fun to meet them, but a bit overwhelming. When you’ve had the same 40 friends for a year and then you get 40 new ones in a single moment it was too much. Makes you realize just how far from being ‘American’ I have come. The speed of their conversations was enough to make me need a nap.
Anyways we spent the afternoon chatting, playing volleyball, and eating. Then group 10 went back to their training site and the rest of us went to Bombasos for the night. We had another meal of hot dogs and s’mores cooked over a barrel bucket fire, had a dance party on the patio, and tried to light off fireworks we found at the Chinese store. They didn’t really work but the sparklers did and we lit up the night while singing songs of Americana. Good food, good friends, and a place where we could celebrate the greatness that is America and the freedoms that I now truly appreciate.
The fourth of July has also sparked some really great conversations with people in my community. Most people don’t know that America gained independence from England just as Swaziland did. Every time I have this conversation I can see the gears start turning. This little fact that connects America and Swaziland just may be the inspiration or the hope a Swazi needs to see that Swaziland has the ability to become better then it is. America was once a new country independent from England and look where we have come, and the good news is it won’t take Swaziland 200+ years to improve their situation.