Monday, August 27, 2012

Bethany and Mom’s Whirlwind Tour of Southern Africa Chapter Four: Malindza, Swaziland

August 4th – 9th, 2012

I think I hit my record: Four countries in one day!  We left Botswana early on the 4th, crossed the border to Zambia and flew to South Africa.  Getting back into South Africa from Zambia was much less dramatic then getting in.  Apparently an emailed copy of your yellow card was proof enough and I was able to board the plane to problem.  A quick flight to Johannesburg, then an even quicker (35 min) flight from Jo’burg to Matsapha, Swaziland and I was “home”.  We arrived by nightfall so Mom couldn’t see Swaziland right away but we spent a fabulous evening with a fellow PCV who picked us up at the airport through a Swazi friend who has a car.  My last transport would have already left by the time we got into town so we couldn’t go to my place that night.

We finally made it to my homestead on Sunday, Aug 5th).  It was so fun to introduce my Mom to my host family, crazy to have my two worlds meet.  We spent the next three days around my community.  Mom came to work with me and we spent a lot of time just hanging out on the homestead so Mom could experience Peace Corps Life.  We had an American BBQ one night for my host family with Hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad, sweet corn on the cob, and chips.  Addy and Ryan came over for that and we had a BBQ on a Swazi style grill!  The next night my host family cooked a traditional Swazi dinner for my mom.   My Make and I decided that this would be a good moment to slaughter Henny Penny.  I know a lot of you just gasped and think this is sad, but its not.  That’s life here and Henny Penny lived an exceptionally good life for a chicken.  Reality is Penny’s life wouldn’t have been that much longer anyways since she was actually a cock.  Once you have too many cocks together they fight to be the alpha one and it causes a problem on the homestead.

enjoying some American BBQ

Mom came with me to the Refugee Camp to teach my last English class of the term.  My students love, love, loved having her visit.  They made her sit on the “hot seat,” an exercise we do weekly to help them practice asking and answering questions.  I think she really enjoyed being there also, however the 30-minute walk to and from the camp wasn’t her favorite.

English class at the refugee camp.
We spent a day at Hlane Royal Game Park, which is literally right next to my community yet I had never been there.  It’s the only game park in Swaziland that has the Big Five, which means they have Lions.  To all my Phi Mu Sisters: I had my first official Lion Spotting in Africa here at Hlane.  We got fairly close to a male lion (Sir Fidel?), which was resting after a meal.  Two lionesses were also prowling in the bushes near by.  This game drive was actually my favorite drive even more so then the ones in Chobe!  Swaziland isn’t exactly people’s number one destination for safari so the drive wasn’t touristy.  We were the only people in the park, there were several moments we just turned off the truck and sat in silence as animals walked and grazed around us oblivious to our presence.  We saw everything: Lions, elephants, giraffe, white rhinos, impala, kudu, wildabeast, zebra, crocodiles, storks, warthogs, eagles, vultures, inyana (type of antelope).  And I live right next door – I live in the real ‘Animal Kingdom!’  I got to show Mom all my “hangout” spotw here in Swaziland, so nice to have someone from home know and experience exactly where I live and what I’m doing.

Lion Spotting!

No comments:

Post a Comment