In this month of celebrations in my beautiful country, I want to take the advantage to express gratitude to Eswatini and its people, for making me feel like home. Firstly, for showing me that there is plenty of kindness no matter the reason and the resources, secondly, for receiving me with care; for teaching me their culture and open the doors of their home with a smile and a hug. So much that even they have knocked my door to give me food, with so much effort, and as a proof of love. I would like to transmit somehow the esteem and gratitude to every person who I have had the luck to meet, for their smiles, the joy in the children’s eye and the story of each, who have had opened their hearts to me.
Truly, for me is kind of hard to express in words how this experience has taught me to appreciate and see life in a different way, but if I try to define it, it would be smiles, hugs, (at this point, everyone think that in Chile we greet with hugs!), gestures, caress in the hair and face, simplicity, kindness, happiness for the simple things in life, among other things.
On the other hand, the affection of children is so pure and honest, despite that most of the children of St. Joseph Home, are in a disability situation, and the majority were abandoned by their parents, they still show their love from the first second.
On the part of adults, who I had the opportunity to share as much as the children, they are people rich in spirit, which they show in their daily life. They are human’s beings so grateful for what they have, and that is right and proper to live. Despite that, they care for each other, the neighbors and the defenseless. Therefore, that is what makes special people from Eswatini, and I think that is exactly what we need to learn and imitate.
During this time, I could relate a lot with my neighbors, while we wash our cloth, or when we go to search for water to cook and showering. I think that in those minutes, doing simple things is when the best conversations and laughter had taken place. Even, one day, they lend me some traditional African cloth to assist to “Umhlanga Reed Dance Eswatini”, that is a celebration where the king chooses a new wife, who is added to the other currently 17 wives. To me, that celebration was a unique experience to feel closer to the Eswatini culture and be one of them.
Finally, I would like to thank the Africa Dream Foundation and every one of the partners who make all of this possible, and to the people who participate every day in our raise fund events, as my best friend said, “not everything has a price… some things don’t have measurable value”. And this is the experience here in Africa, learning that you don’t get from a book, neither buy it, just to live it and carry with you forever.