Wednesday, December 15, 2010

'Give me money!'

Here my son (foreground) sits outside the home in 2008 where he spent his early years. The children seated behind him are his half-sister's children. They will be several years older than they appear. This is normal in a country where malnutrition is commonplace. There was no food in the house when we visited. We brought food from the city (bags of maize meal, vegetables, oil and meat). Later I had to arrange for a new roof to be put on the building. The daughter of a relatively wealthy neighbour was the contact for this mission. They had a proper home and the mother was a teacher. I found it frustrating dealing with her because her mother actually asked for money at one point for the favour of her daughter acting as a go-between despite this family living in absolute poverty. This is unfortunately typical of Swaziland where nothing is done for free. When I used to ride my bike around Waterford school when I lived there, even little five year old kids would shout out 'give me money.'

My son's mother is buried near this homestead.