Friday, January 15, 2010


Sanibonani Bonkhosi! I've been playing around with my video camera, trying to figure out how to actually make a video with it. The answer, apparently, was that I needed to have some additional driver installed on the computer before I could do anything, so I got that taken care of today. (And the computer expert fixed the wireless on my computer so I can actually update my anti-virus, which is amazing.)

Here's my first video, which I shot on Wednesday when I was trying to figure out how to work my camera, etc. I put it together as a video today to make sure my new software actually worked. It does.

I think it's hilarious that any time you ask a Swazi child to sing something, it's always a song about Jesus. My favorite song that they sing goes: "Come come, my sweet. He's so, he's so sweet. Jesus is sweeter than the honey of the bee." (It's the second one they sing on this video.) There's also one where the only words are: "Jesus, Jesus my savior. I love Jesus, of course I do." They do it in a sort of round, like Row, Row, Row Your Boat. The dancing they do in the video is the traditional Swazi dancing called "inkhwazi" (I think that's how you spell it). It's the dance I kept doing in public when Erin, Jess and Brittney were visiting. For some reason, they were embarassed to be seen with me. In the dance, your hands are supposed to represent snakes (I think) and sometimes two dancers "battle" with their snakes in the dance. Unfortunately, my bobhuti (brothers) are still a little unsure of this whole camera thing, so they were a little too shy to battle. I'll save that for my next video, I guess.

I'm currently working on a video where I'll talk about/show you where I live, what Swaziland is like, what I do, etc. It's been more difficult than I anticipated because every time I pull my video camera out of my bag, a Swazi comes up to me and wants me to "shoot" them, or wants to know how much my camera cost or if I'll video tape their wedding for free. My goal is to have it finished by the end of the month. There's also that thing about how a lot of older Swazis think that cameras steal their souls, so I have to be really careful about not stealing the souls of the elderly.

Oh, and to update you on my fundraising efforts, I'm currently at $465 of my overall goal of $8591.69. Keep passing the word around!

This afternoon I'm headed out to Pasture Valley Children's Home to install Mavis Beacon typing tutor (which was donated by the computer place in Nhlangano) on all 3 of their computers, then teach the older kids how to use it so they can work on their typing skills. I'll be doing some basic computer classes and tutoring in the coming months (because I don't have enough to do already, haha), so this is a start! And then, tomorrow morning I'm going up to Manzini for a workshop on how to teach a business studies program that I already taught last year, but for some reason they're making me re-train. Free lunch, I say.

That's all for today. Lots of love from the Swaz!



Giff said...

Justine it sounds like you are doing a great job. I'll chip in a few bucks. I hope all is going well for you. I love those songs about Jesus. DG

Erin said...

I love that video! I should post the one I have of Sisi doing the dance.

If anyone wants to ask their friends to donate, we've setup a website about the project and a link to the PC donation site. It's
Pass it on!

Jessica D. said...

So, I must have forgotten to tell you... I've started taking Kukuwa classes, which are dance aerobics based off of Latin, Caribbean and African rhythms and music. There's a dance where you flap your arms like a chicken, like you did in Mozambique... I can never mock you for your crazy dancing again.