Well, Heather is long gone now. We just got back to Gege yesterday. It was very hard coming back. We feel that we aren't needed. Hopefully that will change. We are going to make it to a year and then reevaluate what we are doing to see if we want to put in a whole new year. We'll see. Seeing Heather definately made us miss our family a lot.
We had a wonderful time when Heather was here. The first thing we did was go to a Traditional Swazi Cultural Village. It was great and very educational. We found out things that we didn't even know about. We got to see some traditional dancing and learned about the traditional homesteads about 100 years ago. Heather really enjoyed that. Next to the cultural village there were some waterfalls called Mantenga Falls. They were beautiful.
We were trying to figure out what to do that night, so we decided on a caving trip. That was absolutely amazing! It was the three of us and a guide. We hiked for about an hour up a mountain and we were in the cave for about an hour and a half. There were many times that we didn't think we could fit through the little crevaces, but somehow, we made it. Heather and Mbali almost freaked out a couple times, but they got through it. At one point, we had to crawl on our bellies threw about a foot of water. It was freezing!! It was a great experience though and we are so glad that we did it. Afterwards, we went to some hot springs and soaked. We also got some free pizza in the deal.
The next day we travelled to Hlane Game Park. Heather was a little worried at first because we didn't have electricty, but then she realized that it was kind of nice. It was unbearably hot here. There was a watering hole right next to where we were staying. Within an hour of arriving, a rhino came to the watering hole. It was so cool to see it. We went on a sunset drive and a sunrise drive. On the sunset drive, 10 minutes in, we came upon 5 lionesses, 2 cubs and a male. It was amazing. We were so close to them. On that drive we also saw an elephant. When we approached the elephant, he was standing in the road where we needed to pass. Our guide decided to pull up closer in the hopes that the elephant would move out of the way. We must have made the elephant mad because he stomped his foot, turned around, and we were head on with him. He came up to the open land rover and our guide ducked behind the steering wheel. He told us: "please don't make a sound". The elephant was an inch away from us and stood there for about one full minute. Finally, he decided we weren't very interesting and went on his way. We all let out a deep sigh of relief. We thought that we was going to rub up against the land rover, and if he did that, we would have tipped right over. What a high.
We also saw a cheetah, lots of impala, a herd of wildebeast, wart hogs, a hippo, turtles, more rhinos, an ostrich, and a huge spider. It was an amazing trip. We also ate impala one evening. None of us really cared for it.
After Hlane, it was off to Gege. Heather seemed to be blown away by it. She met our counterpart Jabulani and really liked him. We divied up all of the clothes that she brought with her (thanks to Phyllis), and we gave them away to our family. Our family was extremely excited to meet her. We gave Heather the Swazi name of Tholakele (which means, "we found her"). We had a very nice dinner with our family.
On Monday, we took Heather to the high school to introduce her to our class. Sadly, our class acted very rude and we were very disappointed in them. We think that Heather got a good understanding of the educational system in Swaziland. It's not a good one. For lunch we went to the Mukasa's. They were very happy. They even gave Heather some traditional African fabric so that she can make an outfit for herself. It was beautiful.
Now on to Cape Town. What can we say? It is a beautiful city. We were blown away by it. We did a city sight seeing tour on a double decker bus and got to see the whole city. That was great. We went on a day long tour that included a wine and cheese tasting and a trip to the Cape Peninsula. Cape Point was absolutely amazing. Wine country was beautiful too. We were supposed to go shark cage diving, but sadly it got cancelled twice because of the weather. A bit too windy. Oh well, we will just have to go back and do it.
We were very sad to see Heather go. We all cried. We wanted to get on the plane with her and come home. We had a very good trip and we are so happy that she came. It was a trip that we will never forget.
We do love being in Swaziland, it is just tough. We have five classes at the high school, but all the kids worry about is how much money we make. Most of the students know everything about HIV/AIDS, but trying to change their behavior is almost impossible. NATICC is coming on the 14th to do VCT again. Hopefully some people will show up to get tested.
The new group of volunteers is coming on June 9. Mbali will be busy with training for the Peer Support Network and is looking forward to that. We are also going to try and host a trainee (or a couple) for site visits.
We have uploaded some photos of Heather's trip. We'll get more uploaded soon. We love you and miss you all very much. Thank you so much to all of you who have supported us. We really appreciate it. We're going through some rough times, but we'll get through it. We just need to get back into the swing of things.
Keep in touch!!
Musa and Mbali