Published: November 30th -0001October 5th 2010
My last day in Ngwane park
great that colonol sanders is sponsoring a primary school in a poor neighbourhood. It's like a happy white uncle. Makes me want chicken.
Well, things can change a lot in a week and I have had an eventful one. I didn’t realize how difficult being a celiac in Swaziland was going to be, and it was even more difficult living with a family who loves gluten more than me. It was quite difficult for them to try to accommodate me and so last Sunday I left my homestead in Ngwane Park Township and moved downtown and in with a hospitable Irishman with an extra room in his apartment and gluten free pasta in his pantry.
He informed me that space in the fridge would be sacrificed for wine, but since he has a set of knives that Gordon Ramsey would be proud of, I knew I had room in the kitchen to cook. Unfortunately the guy doesn’t have a blender (for my morning smoothie fix) or a microwave. Um - as a self-professed micowave popcorn freak I don’t think I will last long before I buy one. (Murdock, I saw a giant movie-theatre style popcorn machine like yours in a store and have seriously considered buying it…. Seriously considered).
Stephen also doesn’t have a TV; instead I am now exposed
Andrea and I crammed in the back of the VW polo. Biggest worry is hitting a cow on the highway.
to a library of books that will keep me busy for quite some time. The guy has been living a bachelor lifestyle for so long there is also no curtains in the place (I am currently using a sarong to cover one of my windows) and I purchased a nice shower curtain to replace the hospital green coloured one he had that was… let say polka-dot coloured with brown mold?
On my first Monday I reclaimed my Ukrainian roots and made borsht since this is the land of plentiful beet root. Announcing “honey I’m home.” It was a wonderful first meal to have with my new roomie (FYI - I have told the security guys that Stephen is my cousin although I doubt it will discourage anyone from thinking I am anything but a white western whore). You should know that his tiny table and chairs look hilarious in the empty apartment, especially since all the seats of the chairs are tilted, a result of a large woman he let house sit. She either had a party and broke them… or she just tilted them over time with her girth.
Work was interesting. Sarah and I
One of my many new friends I want to take home to Canada. And if I can't take it home, I at least want to ride one before I leave.
got to attend a meeting in Mbabane about the results of a study on integrating sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS services. During the tea break Sarah noticed that the slit up the back of my skirt was riding a little high - it was coming apart by the second and I must have split it when I got out of the van.
Taking teeny tiny steps to the reception, with Sarah walking behind me, I found someone to give me a needle and thread to fix the rip that had me about 2 inches from showing my ass crack…. In the most freaking conservative country! There I was… sitting on the toilet seat in the bathroom sewing my skirt back together. Why does this stuff always happen to me?
I’ve also found out that FLAS would like more media coverage, and that both papers here would gladly accept my articles to be printed on a weekly basis. I am really excited and can’t wait to have something submitted. Although I hardly think anything I write can compare to articles about 18 year olds putting themselves and their 5 siblings through school by sex working at
I could have put a full picture up - but I know all you want to see is his penis.
night, or about a father who beat his daughter and dragger her behind a car for dropping out of school, but stay tuned. Just another day in the Swazi papers.
I also went for my first run with a running group on Tuesday night. 5 km in the rich area of Swaziland, but the vehicles ripping by are still as scary on any other road. The drive back to Manzini in the dark is a fun one. They have like NO highway lights in this country so everyone drives with their brights on. I am sure I going to have a seizure from the lights one of these days.
Finally the weekend came and it was time to ROAD TRIP TO SOUTH AFRICA. The Swazi border control was a hot box of humidity, cross to South Africa and the air conditioning and super star toilets were greatly appreciated.
Me, Alex, Sarah, Andrea, Alexandra (Germany), Michelle (Australia), and Ai (Canada) arrived at Shonalonga self catering suites in St. Lucia, a pleasant town on an estuary of hippo and croc central. Seriously, hippos sometimes walk down the street! The rooms were sweet and they gave us
Hippo boat cruise
This guy stunk when he opened his mouth.
a great deal because I told them we were volunteers. Little did we know the area is in a massive drought and they only promise water between 4 and 8 pm?
I had been familiar with the water thing as Swaziland goes through it regularly, on Monday night I had no water at home and none for most of the day at work. I love it - the cleaning ladies put up signs on the bathrooms that say no number 2 please!!! Alex defines a slum as no access to sanitation. So on Tuesday I was laughing that I live and work in a slum.
Any who - we did a game drive in the morning and saw giraffes, zebras, warthogs, and the best part… an elephant with a massive erection! Look for it in the photo. It is the 5th leg with a bit of pink on it. I spent a few hours at the pool before a couple of us took the afternoon boat ride up the river to see the hippos and crocs.
Um… I think hippos are so cute and I sorta wanted one as a pet until one let
out a menacing burp while lazing in the water. I was so excited to get a picture of him with his mouth open. Then 1..2..3.. BANG! We were levelled with a stench so bad that I was convinced it couldn’t be a herbivore. It smelled like a goat had died in his belly and was left rotting for the last week, he cleared our whole boat, it was so funny.
As we were coming back to the jetty, it was time for them to start going to forage and we saw a few get out of the water including the cutest baby hippo. I learned on the boat ride that a hippo can run 45 km an hour. This is faster than I can go, and since they are territorial they kill more humans than any other animal in South Africa. I was no longer excited to see a hippo walking on Main Street, especially since we had drinking to do Saturday night.
After an amazing Mozambican dinner of calamari, we were doing shots with some middle-aged German guys we met on the hippo tour. We had the restaurant in stitches, especially when I made fun
how cute is his little wrinkly sausage leg.
of the three of them for wearing matching striped polo shirts. Alexandra said this was very German and one of them said fine - and ripped it off revealing a black wife-beater. I thought I was going to cry.
We stopped back at the hotel to meet up with a friend I met back from volunteering for Edzimkulu in South Africa four years ago. The guy has an inappropriate humour similar to myself, and “The Lumberjack” will tell you he is as painfully good-looking as he was four years ago, maybe more so. He brought a couple of friends who came out with us, one had some decent dance moves for a South African farm boy, but he couldn’t compare to one of the German’s who had started doing high kicks on the dance floor.
I found another love from my South Africa days, a hard alcohol called cane. Made from sugar cane it is probably most like vodka and the way to drink it here is with green cream soda. They are so popular they come in cooler form… I was in my happy place until I ripped my jeans trying to drop it low
thanks for the tip
we literally saw crocs as we were getting off the jetty.
on the dance floor to Lady Gaga. At this point I walked around telling everyone I had a hole in my crotch. I think I had one too many cane and creams.
The following morning Andrea, girl Alex, Michelle and I drove through a game park to get to the beach called Cape Vidal. The drive was stunning, filled with lots of deer-looking game. I kept thinking… what do you taste like. The beach was beautiful and I think I must come back here. The accommodation is rustic, but the scenery of the Indian Ocean is stunning. On the way back to town we saw a rhino and her baby. It was a great way to finish our St. Lucia weekend.
We did a last haul shopping trip at the pick n pay, and then proceeded to hoover a roast chicken in the car in the parking lot for lupper. We are disgusting…. I know. At this point I was a little tired from no sleep all weekend and Sarah was all huffy because she needed to find a bathroom before we could leave. I suggested the gas station down the highway but she said that
having fun at a mozambican restaurant - some brazil style drinks
was too far. All the places we tried had the water shut off and she couldn’t use the bathroom. I suggested she go on the side of the road a little out of town. Her response ‘no f’ing way.’ I thought she was being a bit of a princess until we found a place with water. Only then did I find out she didn’t have to just go to the bathroom. She needed a shit break… something that becomes seriously hard in the land of no water. I then understood why she didn’t want to go on the side of the road, and it had me laughing all the way back to Swaziland.
Come on people… it’s not a Sharman blog without a little toilet humour. Laters!
There are more photos below