SwaziCompanions of Iowa

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Some photos

Our sympathies to the Schlachter family and friends.  Rev. Barbara is remembered fondly by those who met her in 2004 when she preached at that first ordination of women priests in Swaziland.

Mostly photos this time. This is Revd. Orma Mavimbela at St. Matthias Church last Saturday, looking at some of the fabric we brought for her sewing group from an Ames parishoner.
Monday we were at Luve and Ekukhenyeni Care Points. The first two pictures are from Luve;
Luve children singing.

Luve garden in need of planting.

the next two from Ekukhenyeni.
Main building at Ekukhanyeni

Lunch time.
On Wednesday we made the long trip to the southeast (about 480 km round trip) to see the care points at Mpandesane:
Water carried from the river at the foot of the mountain.
The blocks are still there.  No building; no food.

and also Mantsanjeni:
She was a baby in arms in Nov. 2012.
Playground is recent; extremely dry.

This is the area that is hardest hit by the drought.  We have had rain both Wed and Thur in Mbabane; the area around Luve has had some rain in recent weeks.  However, the cattle in the south looked better than those in the middle of the country.  This was a hard day because of the distance, driving through rain part of the time and the emotional toll of the southeast.  However, it was probably hardest on Thandi who had never been to these two Care Points.

The new Social Development Board which will oversee the department had its first meeting on Wednesday.  It looks like an impressive group of mainly young professionals.  That gives us hope for meaningful programming.  But I forgot to take the camera!


  • Rev. Orma is a special lady. I met her on our very first trip to Swaziland--many years ago by now. She told me a story which is typically told to children. She also was lay minister to her churches way back then before there ordinations for women priests. She also had a shop along the highway where we would stop and buy our things to bring back home.

    Luve is a town where I stayed on my second trip over. I met some truly wonderful people there and have kept them in my heart all these years.

    By Blogger Harold R., at 11:27 AM  

  • Happy Birthday, Mary Jane tomorrow, Feb. 27th as you reach another milestone in Swaziland. Thanks for your blog about your trip and the experiences you are having. Lucille, KR in Ames

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:47 AM  

  • Hi Mary Jane and David. What an interesting blog and it doesn't seem real that you are there in Swaziland and for such a long stay but you are keeping busy. Happy belated birthday Mary Jane and I have one of those events on Thursday. Oh dear. the numbers are getting rather large. Matt and Kyle are coming on Saturday and I've invited a few friends to join us at the Tremont. Kay left this afternoon for Nebraska as her brother is not well and his wife is having surgery. Kay has been concerned about them so she will feel better after seeing them and try to help with whatever they need. I'm so sorry to tell you that Rex has bone Cancer which they were told at Mayo last week. He hasn't felt well for some time and I rather suspected something was wrong. He has retired from the firm and turned over some of his work to John Veldey and they plan to sell their home and move into a town house at Glenwood Place which is very nice as you know. Joeann leaves for Atlanta tomorrow ( Monday) as her youngest sister is dying of Cancer. Joeann is fighting depression and sometimes I can be of help and others, like today, she was especially down. She is only staying there for one overnight. She says I'm the only friend she has, but that isn't really true. Please let us know when you return and Kay, PJ and I will meet you for dinner. We will have tons of things to talk about, I am sure. I am working on some rather challenging accompaniments for a program (at the Congo church tomorrow)for Tuesday Musical We have a well trained soprano and Mindy Phomvisay is coming from Des Moines and she plays a mean flute, so I am enjoying this opportunity to play for them. Lovely to hear from you two and I will forward this blog to Matt. Love seeing the sweet children in the pictures. Oh, Katie is having a baby and I think she's due in May. Amaya is growing like a weed and had a surgery in January which went well and I believe her speech is better. Love to you both and safe travels. I do miss you so. Audrey

    By Blogger Audrey Hafar, at 10:17 PM  

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