Swaziland

Welcome to Swaziland

Welcome to Swaziland

swazi-flag1

We got to use our passports again during the Easter holiday as we traveled 8 hours north to the Kingdom of Swaziland.  Friends of the Passaro’s ministry donated their timeshare for all of us.  Thank you!

Swazi is run by King Mswati III , one of three remaining monarchs in Africa.  He currently has 13 wives but chooses a new one each year.  He has significant ground to cover to catch up with his father who had 120 official wives, with unofficial estimates putting the number of wives and mistresses at more than double that!  Swaziland is now the country with the world’s highest HIV infection rate in the world – around 39% of the adult population is known to be HIV positive.

As with South Africa and Lesotho, Swaziland is incredibly beautiful but the people are suffering with outrageous poverty.

This is Swaziland…

Old tires on the roof are supposed to protect the hut from lightning strikes

Old tires on the roof are supposed to protect the hut from lightning strikes

swazi-houses

swazi-grocery

Swazi soccer

Swazi soccer

swazi-boy-with-wheelbarrow

The long walk for water done twice daily

The long walk for water done twice daily

This is also Swaziland…

The hotel

The hotel

The kids were served ice water at the bar WITHIN the hotel pool

The kids were served ice water at the bar WITHIN the hotel pool

Horseback riding

Horseback riding

Mantenga Falls

Mantenga Falls

If you know me, you can imagine how much I struggled with the chasm between the two Swazis, so…

Tourism is the primary source of income for the local Swazi people, so since our accommodation was free, we spent some money elsewhere 🙂

At the local Swazi Cultural Center where we learned about their customs and history:

The entrance to Rebekah's hut - in the reenactment she was chosen to be the second wife!  I don't think she would do well in a culture that practiced polygamy!

The entrance to Rebekah's hut - in the reenactment she was chosen to be the second wife! I don't think she would do well in a culture that practiced polygamy!

Woman weaving and braiding ropes for the huts

Woman weaving and braiding ropes for the huts

Brian was chosen to be included in a traditional dance.  You should see the video!

Brian was chosen to be included in a traditional dance. You should see the video!

And at the local craft huts:

These huts were lined up as far as we could see

These huts were lined up as far as we could see

Unfortunately, tourism is suffering during these difficult economic times, so almost no one was shopping while we were here.  The shop owners were literally begging us to buy things from them… “I give you good price.”  Rather than a typical American approach to buy in bulk and get good deals, we decided to buy something from everyone we talked to!

They were truly desperate.  She begged me to send our friends to her... Anyone?

They were truly desperate. She begged me to send our friends to her... Anyone?

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3 Responses to “Swaziland”


  1. 1 t d April 21, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    You should know the king is the second richest man in Africa!

    On March 9th the papers reported the USA’s gift of $30 million to help with HIV/Aids.

    Two days prior, the papers announced $10 million going to the refurbishment of 7 or 8 of the king’s palaces.

    You write you “struggle” with the chasm but the people of SD struggle for existence. So take off the rosy glasses and tell us what are you going to do about it?

  2. 2 Robyn April 22, 2009 at 6:00 am

    We miss you all! I love reading and seeing the pics, getting a taste of what you all are experiencing. My heart aches along with yours, hearing the stories of the lovely people there.

    Oh, how we miss you, robyn

  3. 3 Kristin Augustine April 23, 2009 at 10:02 am

    As an American I certainly don’t understand the tendency of African leaders to live in luxury while their people suffer. I am proud that our government under the leadership of President George Bush gave more aid to Africa than any other government in history.


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