Care Center Construction / Hlane Game Reserve

Manzini Travel Blog

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Praying over the construction site

Today we started out construction project in “Mgomane”. It was about an hours drive from the hotel in Manzini, but that didn’t matter… we were there to work regardless of the distance.  We arrived to a greeting from the community and work began. This is a new center under construction and our job was to start digging the footings for the foundation. Wow, not easy work.  The ground is very hard and definitely not something that is easily worked.  Out came the pick axes and the shovels for four hours of digging. Our first official wildlife found was a poisonous tarantula.

When we were close to reaching the end our time there we split into separate teams and did a community walk to meet some of the locals.

Working hard
  We met one woman who’s husband had died. She had 8 children of her own and one grandchild living with her. She was so sad because in their society, a woman who looses a husband to death is considered unclean and needs to be purified. There is an 8 month waiting period where she must only wear black.  Once the waiting period is over there is a special ceremony that cleanses her.  The sad part is that she is unable to participate in any community activity until she is clean.  She was sad because she wanted to be there with us as the center helping to dig the foundation.

When our work was done there around noon, we headed to a pastors house and she prepared a lunch feast for us.  Chicken, steak, pork, sausage, pasta, veggies, dessert (mmmmm, Milktart)… but that is anther story.  We spent about 2 hours there sharing fellowship with the pastor before heading to Hlane Game Reserve.

Game Reserve:

Ok, imagine this….

Some of the community workers
driving into a game reserve and not knowing what to expect.  We reach the gate, travel  through with our two buses and stop in front of a series of stone, concrete and grass/straw roofed buildings.  Traditional in every sense of the word to traditional bush homes… Yes, this is where we will be staying  Each two people shared a building as our home for the night.. Concrete slab and walls, glass windows, a thatched straw roof….. no heat…..  no electricity…. Just two beds, running water and a three oil lanterns … This was not part of the experience I was prepared for!

Shortly after we got settled we were off on a safari, It took 3 Range Rovers to cover our group each heading in different directions.  We saw Rhino, Gazelles, Lions, Elephant, Giraffe.

After a cold, breezy ride around the park it was dinner time consisting of Apple/Potato soup, Chicken, Rice, Tomato/Union broth, Antelope, Cake

The final treat for an otherwise perfect day was traditional dancing and show by staff of Ndluva Camp.. and I got to dance with the team! Yes, you read that correctly… I danced a traditional Swazi dance with the dance team……  and yes, I have the pictures to prove it!!!

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Praying over the construction site
Praying over the construction site
Working hard
Working hard
Some of the community workers
Some of the community workers
More digging
More digging
Community walk at first constructi…
Community walk at first construct…
Construction team at the community…
Construction team at the communit…
New house contruction
New house contruction
Two community children going to ge…
Two community children going to g…
Yes, thats me digging!
Yes, thats me digging!
Community elder forbidden to leave…
Community elder forbidden to leav…
Me in a tree!
Me in a tree!
Going to Hlane National Game Park
Going to Hlane National Game Park
Manzini
photo by: Stormcrow