Bulembu: Malanda Village

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One afternoon, a group of us on the ICC service project in Bulembu headed down a poorly-maintained dirt road to a Swazi village called Malanda to visit several of the families associated with the Enduduzweni Centre. Within walking distance of Bulembu, most of the homes, all of which were made from mud, lacked electricity, and none of them had running water.

We first visited the family of Zandy Dlamini, who is on staff at Enduduzweni.

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Her mother, Thembi Mavimbela, entertained us in the main room while we explored the house. The kitchen was dominated by a wood stove, sitting on several rocks, with a large cooking pot on top.

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Outside, they had a small vegetable garden, and have recently started growing some fruit trees. Zandy (2nd from left below), is hoping to start raising chickens, soon.

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Then we stopped to visit the Mahlalela family. Mr. Mahlalela is from Mozambique, and his wife grew up locally. They speak Portguese, 2 African languages, and both Mr. and Mrs. Mahlala have been taking English lessons from LeeAnn. Their children are learning English at the Enduduzweni Centre.

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Their primary source of income comes from beating scrap metal into cooking pots, but they are also increasing the productivity of their small holding. A small barn contains 30 caged rabbits that they raise for meat, along with a young pair of steers.

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When we arrived, Mrs. Mahlalela was doing the laundry in a bucket full of soapy water in the yard between the house and the outbuilding. It looks like a hard way to make a living, but with two healthy parents, these 5 children are doing much better than many of the kids in rural Swaziland.

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Malanda is not the most prosperous place that I’ve visited, but it also has some significant advantages. Its a very beautiful and fertile place, with lovely views of the mountains, and productive gardens. It is a community of people with family and friendship connections to their village and to an increasingly prosperous Bulembu.Malanda-042.jpg A GoogleEarth satellite picture showing our drive from Bulembu into Malanda, and walk around Malanda, appears below (Zoom into the part at the top to see Malanda. The Care Centre is the loop in the bottom right, and the Lodge where we stayed and ate is at the end of the track in the lower left. ). 

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