Women at a Wedding

Women at a Wedding
These ladies were guests at the tribal wedding of Thokozani and Ngoblie in July of 2008. Their joyous smiles say it all.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Wednesday July 21, 2010

It never rains in Swaziland during July, but today it poured. We drove to Shewula, which is high in the mountains on the Mozambique border. Kukhany Okusha operates a Neighborhood Care Point there caring for the orphaned and vulnerable children of the area. In contrast to Gigi’s Place which serves urban orphans, Shewula is very remote and distant. It is here where two years ago I wrote of the little girl wearing only one flip flop, for that is all that she possessed.
As we arrived, the rains began and the grassless play yard turned to a gullied mud lot. We went into the shelter with the children and teachers and the children sang to the background of the rain droning on the tin roof. We unloaded the mounds of flip flops, clothing and medical and school supplies. Remembering that two years ago we found no food in the store room at Shewula, we had stopped at the market on our way and had brought lots of fruit, rice, maize and bread as well as other staples. Even though the situation there did not appear quite as dire as it had two years ago, again the pantry was bare. The pastor explained that they had lost sponsorship of World Vision, a major food supplier for them, and really did not know how they were going to be able to sustain services.
Whereas the children of Gigi’s were engaging from the moment we arrived, these children were very timid and it was apparent very few visitors every made it to this remote area. They eventually warmed up to our presence and soon we were all involved playing, singing, making balloon hats and everyone who was shoeless got a new pair of flip flops. Again, many of the children wanted little more than to be held.
I hope I never get desensitized to a scene such as this. These children have absolutely nothing and in some cases nobody. It seems so redundant to set at the keyboard at the end of each day and type the same sad message, but on some level I feel compelled to record each story. For whom I do not know, perhaps for myself, or perhaps to honor those who have allowed me to share in their stories. I look at the pictures of the children, their faces, their eyes. Eyes that do not look away, but hold to you as if glancing away might somehow loose the connection, however brief and it may be.


Hollow eyes
Blank stares
Brown faces
Snotty noses
Rattling chests
Swollen bellies
God have mercy

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