Blogs from Bulembu, Swaziland, Africa


Africa » Swaziland » Bulembu April 25th 2018

Today was our last full day in Bulembu. I can’t believe it has gone so fast. We spent our morning helping the Royal Rangers set up camp. I can’t believe the work the leaders put in to prepare for a week with the kids. They are so blessed to have these leaders planning and preparing for them. They will have such a great time. The afternoon was our last play day. We chose to do big team games instead of breaking into small groups. They had a great time. I’m glad we did it that way and both Nicole and I ended up with injuries and had to be cheerleaders. Nothing to serious and are feeling better but enough to side line us for the afternoon. We had a special guest join us today. Our Heartland ... read more

Africa » Swaziland » Bulembu April 23rd 2018

We begin our final week away with a work day. We split off to our different projects after breakfast. The playground is coming along well. Teaching some of the guys here to use the welder and plasma cutter. The electricians are making some progress and learning how to use all the wire. The other ladies and I headed to Dvudvusi to paint one of the families homes. The auntie was so happy to have us coming. We painted the entire house in and out. After lunch we had games with the kids again while Rod went and welded a guys hitch. Tonight we were blessed to watch the Bulembu Children’s Choir. Wow!! I didn’t get to see them in Sherwood Park a few years ago but so incredible! Tonight be surprised the staff at the lodge. ... read more

Africa » Swaziland » Bulembu April 21st 2018

So today was a free day built into schedule. We had a couple options but we all chose the hardest one. Climbing the highest peak in eSwatini called Emlembe. It took us just about 2 hours to the top. Our guide, Benjamin, was very gracious and allowed us to stop as needed. Fortunately, it was cool and socked in the cloud to help us not over heat. Unfortunately, it did not clear at the top but did start to clear on the way down so we could see valley after valley. It’s so gorgeous! Despite feeling a little inadequate from being passed in the way down but locals carrying large logs and wearing crocs, we all made it safely but will see how everyone is feeling tomorrow. The afternoon was quiet and sunny. Cathie, Dean and ... read more

Africa » Swaziland » Bulembu April 20th 2018

So yesterday was a work/play day. We finished up painting at the pre-primary school. More work done on the playground and the electrical. Then after lunch we played games with the kids again. Same group of kids but different games. This time I was on the soccer field. 2 hours of running in the sun. At one point the clouds came in and I said to the auntie playing with us that it’s nice to have the clouds come. She said now it’s getting cold. The kids had lots of fun - well those that like soccer. The others just wanted to chat. Cam got accused of cheating because he had shoes on! I got smashed in the face with a soccer ball but luckily the brim of my hat saved me from broken glasses. Have ... read more

Africa » Swaziland » Bulembu April 18th 2018

Up early to go for a tour. They’ve been telling us about limited access to the town from the south into Swaziland. Well we got to experience it today. They weren’t kidding...Potholes, boulders galore! Started our tour stopping at Hawane which is home/farm run by challenge ministries. We picked up an intern named Bongani - he was an orphaned child from the streets and became part of the program at age 11. He fell in love with the Lord and now is running programs with the ministry. He kept us in stories and laughter all day. We then went to the proposed new site for Bulembu to move to if the proposed mine comes back into the community. It’s another fabulous place they can start fresh from rather than making do with renovating the houses and ... read more

Africa » Swaziland » Bulembu April 17th 2018

We broke off into groups and did a variety of tasks. Our 4 electricians went out and put in a new transformer. Surprised by the voltage - was supposed to be 380 coming in but it was 430. Apparently that’s not a good thing :) And so have some other work to do. Michele worked in the kitchen - made us homemade pasta for lunch. 2 of the guys went up to start building a playground template so that they can sell playgrounds to other communities as a new adventure. 4 of us went down to the preprimary school that needs painting. But first some scrubbing needs to happen. Not an easy task to differentiate where the dirt ends and the clay brick begins. After lunch, we spent the afternoon playing with the kids. Broke them ... read more

Africa » Swaziland » Bulembu April 16th 2018

What a first day!! Up early for a 630 breakfast and on the road by 710. Started at the chapel, watched the high school assembly, then off to tour the schools. We started at the high school. It used to be a hotel but when they needed a new school they converted it to a high school. The wish list from bulembu made more sense to me after that. The youth have no cash but can earn merit points through their grades, athletics, behaviour etc. These points can be exchanged at the shop for luxury items. Luxury meaning deodorant, lotion, special clothes, personal soccer cleats, etc. The high school shop was quite barren actually especially compared to the primary school merit shop. If the school groups want to raise extra funds, they have to raise chickens. ... read more

Africa » Swaziland » Bulembu May 6th 2005

Got up Friday with plans to interview a chief from Bogani's area and then go to Bulembu again and some of us would stay the night but we didn't know who yet. We got to Bogani's and his dad wasn't there yet. We ended up interviewin his dad and then went to the chief's krawl. It was very ceremonious: we all sat down on the ground and one Swazi guy introduced everybody and talked in Siswati and then Jim talked and there was some discussion and thanks and a prayer and we didn't go any further with the interview. We took some pictures and then went to Bulembu. In Bulembu we had lunch with David, an entrepreneuer who wants to revitalize Bulembu--an old mining town--into a tourist resort spot. He was quite the talker. Lunch ... read more
me and the ABC kids in Bulembu

Africa » Swaziland » Bulembu May 3rd 2005

Today we went to a clinic, a care point for orphans, and took our first trip to Bulembu. At the clinic, there were hundreds of people there to get care. A large percentage for HIV/AIDS I'm sure. Lots of people of all ages. We interviewed a nurse and a counselor. Both went well. Didn't see anything graphic, but a lot of sick people. One man asked for something, and I had nothing to give him, and he seemed so ashamed. Timbissini Care Point was our next stop. 50 kids come each day to get food and learn under a tree. Miles had a great time playing pied piper with the kids. They sat us down and cooked these huge yams and gave us each a bowl with 3 of them in it. I felt extremely ... read more
the cows have taken over

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