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March 17th 2015
Published: March 20th 2015
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March 17, 2015 (Manzini, Swaziland) Tuesday, we woke up to a bit cooler and overcast conditions, although there was a little bit of a sunrise noticeable over the eastern ridge. We all got up early for a trip to Manzini - we had a full day planned. After an early and quick breakfast, we jumped in two vehicles to head to Manzini about an hour and half from Siteki. I drove, which doesn’t sound like a big deal, until you realize its the opposite side of the road, opposite side of the car and you’re opposing the cattle which seem to roam freely among the potholes. Actually, driving wasn’t so bad…its turning on the windshield wipers instead of the turn signal that gave me the most grief - mostly because of the jeering passengers. In Manzini, we dropped Dr. Pons off at St. Teresa’s Eye Clinic and we continued on to Sodvodkodvo, which is where The Luke Commission has built their main campus. We had a quick four-wheeler tour of their impressive campus and rushed back to Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital to do a series of lectures for the medical staff there and work in their eye clinic seeing consultations for their resident eye physician. We had lunch with the medical staff and then meandered through Manzini to try and find our way back to St. Theresa’s Eye Clinic. With plenty of help from experts in the back seat, I found my way back. There we saw a busy clinic - mostly challenging cases Dr. Pons wanted some help deciding on how best to manage them. After clinic, we had errands to do for the farm - car parts, repairs, etc - and then took time for a coffee, did some grocery shopping (including some impala jersey called biltong for the ride home). On the way home, we were pulled over by a charming young police woman who systematically asked for documents, and tested most vehicular features like the horn, lights, blinkers. Evan Sussenbach had begged to be able to drive the second car, so he, Dr. Firestone, Robinson and Derek were following our vehicle and pulled over behind us (Derek tried to coax him to keep going). Dr. Pons charmingly convinced the policewoman to let the boys through rather than make them spend the night in the slammer because Evan didn’t have his driver’s license! After another spectacular Mabuda Farms dinner, we headed over to a goodbye braai for two German nurses that has spent two months at Good Shepherd Hospital and living at the Mabuda Farm B&B. It was a good cross section of some of the longer term residents that live on or near the farm - all interesting people with amazing adventures. We shared a toast with a round of Amarula with the team and snacked on s’mores and desserts around the fire, watching the southern cross in the night sky overhead.

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