SwaziCompanions of Iowa

Monday, February 08, 2016

Monday, 8 February

Greetings in the Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

In this neighborhood – two blocks from the new American embassy – water rationing appears to be planned on a two-days-on/two-days-off basis.  Water was restored around mid-day on Sunday and is to be turned off sometime Tuesday.  On the other hand, the diocesan office has been without water for about a week.  This evening the bishop returned from visiting family in South Africa over the weekend to find neither water nor electricity at her residence (part of the diocesan office complex).  Fortunately they have a gas cook stove.  It seems that the water rationing in Mbabane is only partly due to the drought.  Despite knowing that it was to be an El Nino year, the reservoir that provides most of the city water was drained to permit digging it deeper.  The south and east are experiencing worse drought.

We have had to purchase a few things for operating the kitchen (a skillet, some paper products, dish detergent, and storage containers) but find that preparing our meals is not overly expensive.  Many years ago when we first started camping as a family a good friend advised us to eat what we are used to and comfortable with.  So tonight we had beef stew using .29 kg of “beef goulash” (or stew beef to us) at a cost of under $2.  That will come close to doing two more meals for us.  We realize that such a package of beef is completely out of the range of possibility for most Swazis.  We are well-fed.

While the stew was “stewing”, we went for a walk.  Our old legs and out-of-shape bodies don’t exactly care for this side-of-the-mountain terrain, so such sessions are mostly limited to about 30 minutes with frequent stops and frequent swigs of water.  We hope that as time goes on we will be able to extend those walks.  However, there is no such thing as a level route in this city.

Sunday is “Green Valentines Day” (see http://www.greenanglicans.org/green-valentines-for-the-diocese-of-swaziland/) for the young adults of the Anglican Church in Swaziland.  They will gather at the church in Hlatikulu where a garden is in place thanks to some funds from the Diocese of Brechin and a lot of hard work by both members of the parish and the diocesan youth.  Mncedisi will lead an environmental workshop Friday-Sunday with the young people.

Yesterday morning Mary Jane preached at All Saints Cathedral.  During the Peace as she greeted a little boy and his mother, he turned to his mother and said in perfect English, “What is that that she has on her head?”  Mom was mortified, but the Caucasian priest with white hair (and her husband) have laughed many times.

Tomorrow morning brings an early trip to Luyenga Farm so it is past time to sign off.  Will try to start adding some pictures soon.

Hoping the Iowa snow and winds aren’t being too destructive.


  • How wonderful that you are there together to share in all of this! Happy green Valentine's Day!

    By Blogger Lydia Bucklin, at 4:29 AM  

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