Yesterday (7/22) marked our one year anniversary of our arrival at St. Philips. We left the states on 7/19/11, but because of some travel delays and long flights we didn’t actually arrive at our new home until the 22nd. It has been a great year and we fill very adjusted in our new lives. In the last year we have experienced so much, it has been wonderful! It is hard to believe that one year has already passed us by and we still have those moments of "We live in Africa!".
In the last week we have had several bird sightings, both inside our house and outside our house. One night I was in bed and Ben and Joe were just hanging out, when this little guy popped right into the house. He hung out by the microwave for a bit before the boys caught him and released him back into the wild.
Another bird in our house was this precious baby owl. The people of Swaziland have a huge superstition with owls. Because of all the witchcraft that occurs here, certain things are taboo…owls being one of them. They think if an owl lands outside your house that someone is trying to bewitch you. So you can understand the confusion and hysteria when an owl showed up at the hostel this week, right as several guests from Taiwan arrived! To make a long story short, the bird was injured and so Joe sent a kid down to my house with the bird. I got a call that said a kid is coming down with an owl, can you please find something to wrap it in. I assumed the bird was dead and so I went for a trash bag. When the kid arrived the bird was very much alive and I had to rethink my plan. In the end, Joe and Katie drove the bird to Big Bend (town about thirty minutes down the road), to a guy who offered to care for the injured owl. Quite the experience!
Unfortunately, we had to dispose of Mikayla’s box car after this because the owl pooped inside it. Oops!
Here are a few of the birds we saw outside.
Not birds, but I thought it was pretty!
Speaking of experience, on Thursday Mikayla and I ventured out to watch some of our hostel girls compete in a National Dance Competition. It was completely different from any competitions that I have been to in the states. For starters each group competes doing the same dance. Secondly, the girls are all in traditional attire, which means they are topless. At first it was weird for me to see primary students performing topless, but then I came to terms with the fact that this is part of their culture and sat back to enjoy myself. Our group of girls won third in one dance and fifth in a second dance. They did great and got to bring a trophy home to the school.
On Wednesday, Ben headed to Jo-burg to drop three of our staff members (Sharon, from childcare, and two health care staff members) off for a trip to the US. They will be heading to the AIDS 2012 conference in DC. They were so excited and seem to be having a good time already. Ben spent the night in Jo-burg that evening and headed home on Thursday.
And just for fun, a picture to show just how quirky and creative my little girl is. She turned her kitchen (which is really just a carry on suitcase) into a crib for her and her babies!