“Things I’ve Learned in Swazi” : Blog Post
By: Elizabeth Schermerhorn
Let’s do a little team recap. In the notes on my phone- I’ve been logging the random “Things I Learned in Swazi”.
A) After a roughly 20-hour plane ride, where granola, sour gummy worms, and *interesting* plane food make up that day’s diet… Anything that resembles “real food” is awesome.
B) A hot shower has never felt SO good.
C) And a real bed after being awake for about 48 hours is heavenly.
So pretty much… the seemingly little things aren’t so little anymore! #bless
A) Different side of the world = driving on a different side of the road.
B) Different side of the world = different seasons. *Happy hot summer Georgia- It’s winter in Swazi*
C) When in Swazi- money isn’t the only way to barter and pay for products. Sometimes trading American “treats” (i.e. fruit snacks) works out great!
Day Three: TODAY
A) Sometimes… Swazi men like to propose to women the first day they meet them… and an appropriate dowry is a watermelon? True story. I had to bluff and say I was married. (Jesus- forgive me of my sins. Thanks.)
B) When a little girl hands you a stick that looks like bamboo, and tells you to eat it, you do! #cultural-emersion … It was sugar cane- and it tasted great! A little tough, but a fun afternoon snack.
C) After loving on, and being loved on by Swazi children all day- our teams broke up and got to participate in “Home Visits”. This is where the teams were able to go with a translator (shepherd), a month’s worth of food, and a Siswati Bible to homes in dire need, extreme need. At the home I visited today, the Gogo (grandmother) told us through the translator that she did not know “What to mix with water” for food that day to feed her 5 children. In Swaziland, to make food last- everything is mixed with water to spread it out. When we walked through the make shift gate, crafted from sticks and salvaged barbed wire, it actually fell to pieces on the ground. The homestead consisted of three or so mud huts, crafted from sticks, mud, and various pieces of tin and cloth. Sitting on the ground, we got to talk to mama Gogo and pray for her specific needs. Rather than her prayer requests forming around personal wants or needs, as they might in the states- her requests were formed around the desire for her sons and grandchildren to know and love the Lord. Nothing for herself. Only for her family- who she has already laid down her life to keep fed and alive. In praying for her, it was clear that the blessing of the Lord was on her home. Her blessings do not consist of “stuff” or materials. The blessing of simple contentment is far more beautiful than greater possessions. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…” (Matthew 6:19-20). Mama Gogo’s genuine heart for building The Kingdom through her own family was truly inspiring.
In conclusion, the running list of “Things I Learned in Swazi” in the past three days has ranged from hilarious, confounding, to deeply convicting—and the journey has just begun.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Swazi adventures, tomorrow night! Goodnight Warren in the World. It’s been fun.