Saturday, January 19, 2013


            I arrived safe and sound in Swaziland yesterday! At the Johannesburg airport I needed to catch a bus to Swaziland and had no idea where to do that, so I walked over to the police stand. My interactions with policemen in Africa haven’t always been fantastic, but I didn’t have any other options so I gave them a big smile and hoped for the best. They gave me directions so I thanked them and started to walk away when one of the policemen said, “here I’ll show you” and began walking in front of me. When we arrived at the bus terminal—a logical conclusion for where one might catch a bus—he spoke to the man working there. That man said that the only bus he knew for Swaziland didn’t actually leave from the bus terminal, but from in front of the domestic departures. Naturally. So the policeman walked me back across the street and upstairs to domestic departures. He spoke to the man there who knew the bus I was looking for and confirmed that this was where it stopped. Then without even asking for a bribe, the policeman walked away—I was impressed. When the bus arrived I ran over to talk to the driver. I was supposed to have booked and paid for the bus in advance, but I hadn’t because leaving America had snuck up on me so quickly. I smiled and sweet-talked him and promised I would pay upon arrival in Mbabane, and soon we were on our way.
After the many hours of travel I was able to sleep about 11 hours straight through the night. This morning at 10am I sat in on my first meeting with the education team. We began discussing the first item on the agenda, an after-school math and English program. One woman suggested that the program really needed a committed director to be successful this first school term. “How about Scooter?” suggested someone else. And thus it was decided that I will oversee this project during the first school term while I am here, while training an understudy to take over once I leave. Why wade in slowly, just jump right in!

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