While lying in bed and thinking about writing this blog, I thought about the word wonderful. This word perfectly describes my internship and stay in Swaziland the past five weeks.
Wonderful internship. During my internship, I developed the business & development program for future interns for All Out Africa. I had a lot of freedom to make my own schedule and responsibility to finish my work on time. This combination was perfect for me. During mornings I was working in the office: doing research, speaking to entrepreneurs, making profiles, making formats, developing information sheets and preparing meetings. After lunch I joined the other volunteers to homeworkclub: helping kids from primary school with their homework and math/spelling/reading skills.
Wonderful Swaziland. For making the profiles of the entrepreneurs, I was able to speak to entrepreneurs. Amazing to see how passionate most entrepreneurs are about their business. Sometimes a bit too enthusiastic if they told me they want to sell their products on the international market through a webshop, while they had no laptop and Internet access. On the other hand, Swazi people see opportunities everywhere. Most entrepreneurs are making their products out of recycled waste, trying to reuse everything. For example making pencil cases out of chips bags.
Wonderful All Out Africa. Working in the office with the All Out Africa staff was always nice. They always want to help you and to have some fun. Thanks to Ginger, Tiphiwe, Eunice and Tjengisa for all the fun office hours! Going to Kruger Park for three days with All Out Africa Tours included early mornings and long drives. The group of volunteers enjoyed the safari because of the enthusiasm of the guides Yolande and Patrick, thanks!
Wonderful Lidwala Lodge. Staying at Lidwala felt like home. Special thanks to Phumie for being our personal driver and guide and inviting us for the Potjie Cooking Competition! What started as a small idea (risotto and Italian theme), ended in making pasta-peach-chutney-chicken, beach party theme (including a pool), winning the obstacle race and almost winning the beer drinking competition.
Wonderful volunteers. With twenty-one volunteers in total, you would not expect every volunteer going well with every other volunteer. But it actually did. Going to the pub on Friday night or Monday afternoon, playing cheese quartet, watching movies, having dinner at the casino and Malandela’s; it was always fun. Unfortunately everyone needs to go home one time. The departure of a group of volunteers was a combination of a smile and some tears, but with people from all over the world, it is possible to meet people while traveling in the future.
Getting used to the ‘Swazi-time’, only able to climb Sheba’s Breast halfway because of fear of heights, being asked if I was a volunteer’s mom, and the bumpy combi rides don’t seem wonderful at the first sight, but finally it is. Every aspect of my internship and stay in Swaziland (at first or second sight) I enjoyed. It made me feel at home in Swaziland and made me appreciate home in the Netherlands.
All Out Africa staff, Lidwala staff and all the other volunteers: thank you! You’ve made my internship and stay in Swaziland wonderful!