The children of Swaziland

Just to get the obvious out of the way: I love kids. No, I don’t want any of my own (I could hear those of you who know me asking that in your heads). But if I could have kids with the guarantee that they would be as joyful, loving, and well-behaved as these babes I met in Swaziland – I might actually consider it. I have never met a group of children (or adults, honestly) so full of the love of Jesus.

Here are some of my favorite portraits (slash selfies), and a handful of tales.

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All the kids were happy to play with whatever was available: Slides, swingsets or even just each other!

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You may remember this guy from a previous post – we were rather attached to each other. Most of the kids get only one meal a day: MannaPack Rice, developed by an organization called Feed My Starving Children – you can see it in his bowl above. It has all of the nutrients a kid needs. We also provided chickens while visiting as a special treat!

As a sidenote, the kids were all SO well-behaved at meal time. They’d line up to wash their hands under a faucet, collect their food from the kitchen, and go off to sit and eat together. When they were done, they’d rinse their bowl in a larger bowl of clean water and deliver it back to the kitchen – even the toddlers knew this routine!

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“Are you sisters?” “NO we’re friends!” – said with the implication that friend is a higher ranking than sister.

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I was seriously impressed with the school-aged children as well. They’d come at meal time carrying younger neighbors and relatives, then wait patiently until all  of the little kids had been fed before jumping in line themselves. And they were so curious about us, asking questions about life in America – but equally eager to answer all of our own questions!

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Everyone just wanted to help out with whatever we were doing, even film production.

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Little faces peeking into the classroom we were painting. When we were done, I was resting on the steps outside the school, and a little girl came over to sit by me. She noticed my hands were caked in dry paint, and started picking it off with her little fingernails! Next thing I knew, a half-dozen little ones were surrounding me, each working on one of my fingers until I was completely paint-free.

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The kids were, of course, obsessed with the selfie feature on our phones. Here you can also see two of the caretakers in the background – these women work so hard and so selflessly every single day!

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One last shot with my sponsor child (in pink) – I swear I have more pictures of her than anyone else I’ve ever met. I just love her SO MUCH!

These kids completely made my trip: They loved me in a way I hadn’t been loved before, they served me like it was second nature, and they’re the reason I just can’t wait to get back to Swaziland.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you can also check out my video of the kids here.

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