Swaziland

On July 11, 2006 Rick and Wendy took a 36-hour journey across the world to our “next life’s first chapter” in Swaziland in southern Africa. Our adventures and life-changing experiences from July to December 2006 are chronicled in pictures, brief descriptions and travel journal. Then returning 2 years after we lived there, we were reminded that Swaziland is truly a beautiful country. Below are the stories of several different kinds of enterprises that are helping the Swazi people to survive the HIV/AIDs epidemic that has devastated their population with one of the highest rates globally.

Swazi Culture: Annual Reed Dance–Umhlanga, Real Wedding and Tourist Wedding

Swaziland

Umhlanga – Reed Dance. Once a year, Swazi maidens from across the kingdom come to the Ezulwini Valley to gather reeds that will be used to “repair” the Queen Mother’s traditional kraal.  They walk for a day to find the best reeds (younger girls are not required to walk as far).  Then on day 2 […]

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Swaziland: Emafini and Swazi Landscape

Swaziland

Our home from July to December 2006 was a cute little cottage at Emafini Compound, a few miles outside of Mbabane.  Swaziland had about 1.1 million people at that time, most living rurally but with two major cities of approximately 100,000 each: Mbabane, the government capital and Manzini, the commercial center. Our lovely home overlooked […]

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Stormy Swaziland

Swaziland

Throughout our six months in Swaziland, many storms passed through.  Strong gale force winds hit central Swaziland on the night of August 2, 2006.   The damage was many fallen trees and power and water outages for several days in many places nearby.  A tree fell between our neighbor’s house  and ours.  Though there was no […]

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Swaziland Successes: JA Swaziland from TechnoServe Youth Program

Success Stories

In 2006 while living in Swaziland, Wendy and a TechnoServe colleague established a School Age Youth Entrepreneuship (SAYE) Program that was to encourage Swazi young people to become entrepreneurs rather than depend on government or large companies for employment.  Incorpoating Junior Achievement’s (JA) internationally-proven high school curricula, TechnoServe partnered with a Swazi youth development agency, […]

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Swaziland Successes: Livingstone Protective Clothing Company

Success Stories

By the late 1990s Swaziland’s once-thriving textile sector had been reduced to mostly producing zippers and yarn due to the dominance of the Asian textile and clothing industry as well as the influx of high quality second-hand clothing into Africa.  However, as clever entrepreneurs have always done, Nathi Dlamini found a niche to fill: the […]

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Swaziland Successes: Eswatini Swazi Kitchen and ESK Honey

Success Stories

One of the churches in Manzini, Swaziland founded Eswatini Swazi Kitchen in 1991 to create a source of funding for the Manzini Youth Center. They process mostly local and/or traditional jams, chutneys, and hot sauces including orange marmalade, marula jam, ginger mango chutney, and Swazi hot pepper sauce. Eswatini started a related business, ESK Honey, […]

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Swaziland Successes: St. Phillips’ Orphanage’s Pepper Farm

Success Stories

The Cabrini Monks from Italy founded St. Phillips School in 1927 in one of Swaziland’s poorest, most remote areas. Sister Diane and Sister Barbara arrived at St. Phillips in 1971 then began a medical clinic in 1974 so that locals did not have to spend hours and entire weekly salaries to travel to the closest […]

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2008 Walleigh Travel Journal: Back to Africa + Perspective on Africa Living

Blog

Oct. 10 –  44 Hours Door to Door from Cape Town to Johannesberg to Nairobi to London to SFO! We had a great month in 4 African countries. But it was very tiring: really hard beds, so-so meals in many hotels, and needing to leave the bathroom light on every night because we were in […]

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2006 Walleigh Travel Journal: Living, Working in Swaziland + Traveling in Southern Africa

Africa

December 21, 2006 – Walleighs Look Back and Forward:  Africa’s Contrasting, Parallel Universes. Rick and I were fortunate to have lived, worked, and traveled in amazing places in Swaziland, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.  But we didn’t have to go far to see the rest of Africa: barefoot and ragged children, grandmothers carrying babies […]

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