Saturday, August 3, 2013
Two dogs killed by Black Mambas, Swazi Government is dissolved, Nomsa is gone and Chloe is leaving.
In between those highs and lows the Swazi Parliament was dissolved by His Majesty King Mswati III and my dear Nomsa has run away from the isolation ward at the TB Hospital.
Here is more of each story.
Last week our dog Twende (Doberman) gave birth to four puppies down on the farm. One died and birth and the rest settled in nicely to puppy life. Only a few short days later on Tuesday, Twende, was bitten by a snake. No one saw it happen, but they found her writhing in pain, foaming at the mouth, in full seizure and eventually death. We were able to move the little puppies up to The Lodge where a couple of our interns and longterm volunteers are feeding them every 90 minutes by bottle.
The very next day, Chloe and I were in town and she told me she and Spencer wanted to buy me a kitten for my 50th birthday (coming up in November) and so we went to the “Swazi SPCA” and brought home a sweet, tiny kitten named “Francisco” (for all ELF fans). An hour after we got home we saw our dogs knock down the gate of their pen in order to chase a huge bull that had strayed up to the area between our house and the Lodge. Our dogs (Max, the BIG Doberman, Nala, the Boerbull, and Jack, the Jack Russell Terrier) chased the bull down the hill all the way to the farm with Chloe chasing on the ATV (4-wheeler). Somewhere between the farm and home we believe Nala was bitten by a snake, likely a Black Mamba. The next six hours were hours that I never want to relive again. Chloe and I, along with Peter, Denis, Danny, Jere and Janet, watched Nala go through extreme seizures, bowel eruption, projectile vomiting, paralysis, loss of breath and finally death in our garage. It was a horrific ordeal and there was nothing we could do (other than pour milk and charcoal down her throat to try to remove the poison). We were told when we moved here that we will need to have lots of dogs and keep them breeding because we will lose lots of dogs to snakes. Well, the people were right. We lost two dogs/family members in 24 hours. I am thankful for Francisco and the PERFECT timing is his arrival. God’s timing is always perfect.
Speaking of timing, its election time here in Swaziland. On Friday His Majesty called a gathering of the nation called “Sibaya” and announced that according to the Constitution the election process is officially beginning. I won’t claim to understand all or even most of the process, but here is the gist of my understanding.
On Friday the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and all the Government Ministers stepped down from office and His Majesty King Mswatii III dissolved the Parliament. This allows the people who want to run for office to do so without being employed by the government at the same time. Nominations for Parliament started yesterday and will continue through tomorrow morning. The nominees will be named tomorrow or Monday and are not allowed to campaign at all up until the Primary elections are over on August 24th. All “campaigning” is done by “others”, but not by the person running for office. Then, once the Primary’s are complete the election campaigns begin in earnest and the final election takes place on September 20th. My understanding is that there will be 56 members of Parliament elected and then 10-12 more appointed by His Majesty to make up the Parliament. The Cabinet is appointed by His Majesty from Members of Parliament. The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister are also both appointed by His Majesty.
There are two people who are still fulfilling their positions. The first is Prince Guduza (our next door neighbor and Speaker of the House of Parliament) and second is the President of the Cabinet. We are told in the newspaper that His Majesty will appoint a “committee” of people to run the country during the next two months during this election period. We are praying for this nation and all who are living and serving here.
In other important Swazi news, Nomsa was told that she would be moving in to isolation and starting treatment for XDR-TB last Friday. She got a weeklong pass to go home and think things through. She went to the hospital on Friday, but when they moved her in to her isolation room I guess she panicked. She left the hospital at 6PM last night and has not been seen since. We are praying for Nomsa, and all who are living and dying with TB, MDR-TB and XDR-TB.
On a personal note, our daughter Chloe will be leaving for school in Taiwan on Tuesday, only three short days away. In addition to the other things that have happened this week it has been a time of reflection, sorting, packing, planning and many tears … tears of joy and tears of sorrow. We are praying for Chloe, for her new school, friends and the family whom she will be living with. Next weeks blog will be dedicated to Chloe and my thoughts around my baby moving to Taiwan.
Live from Swaziland … we are praying.