Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Swazi "Senior" Year

It's strange to be back at school as an IB2, which is essentially the equivalent of being a senior at high school in the States. First, it's strange because I've already done the whole senior thing, and the fact that I'm back at this point again is weird. Second of all, because suddenly there are a bunch of IB1s here, and that's just weird. They're running around complaining about the slow internet, and not complaining about the cafeteria food (which is obviously the wrong order of complaints - food is obviously more important than memes and Youtube).

But, other than the fact that half of the hostel is different people, things are pretty much the same here. It's summertime, so the sun is shining (sorry about that, Chicago), and I'm back into shorts and a t-shirt. I spent a whole day decorating my new room, which ended in a grand explosion when I tried to plug in my Christmas lights with an electrical converter and no adapter (or maybe the other way around, I'm not sure which is which). Regardless, electricity in America is 125V, and here it's 250V.

So yeah, a bit of an explosion.

Mostly, though, I'm just excited. I've really missed the mountains. Ahhh... Swaziland :)

Friday, January 17, 2014

Do's and Don't's of Visiting Your Long-Lost... Parents?

A POST!?!?! Yes, I am going to continue to make blog posts for this year in Swaziland. Tell yo' friends.


So, I have spent the last seven weeks here in 'Murica for my first visit home in a year. While it has been wonderful, let me make a list of do's and don't's for someone coming back to visit their parents after a very, very long time away from home.

DO gently remind your mother that you have been living away from home for a year, and that you do indeed know how to dress yourself, and do not need to be reminded of how cold it is outside.

DON'T proceed to wear flip-flops, and then complain about how cold it is. Because there will be no pity.

DO enjoy some America foods.

DON'T enjoy so many America foods that while packing to return to Africa, you find that some of your Africa pants don't fit anymore.

DO have faith that the Africa pants will fit in a few weeks, once you are separated from these America foods. Specifically bagels.

DON'T pretend that just because you're "visiting," you don't have to do dishes.

DO continue to pick up your socks. Or start to pick up your socks, if this wasn't previous a habit.

DON'T forget to clean the toilet. While there might be someone at school who cleans toilets for you, your mother STILL isn't the maid. And if you don't clean it, it will become disgusting.

DO see all your friends in America.

DON'T worry when things are awkward at times. You've been apart for a year. It's going to be a teeny bit weird. Or a massive amount weird. But, that's okay.

DO enjoy it. Especially if you only have a few weeks before you leave again, time tends to fly.

So, I'm currently on a plane (the magic of delayed posting), heading back for a second year in Swaziland. I had kind of forgotten what is was like the first time around, but a few of the new students have started their own blogs, and I'm starting to realize how different it is to do all of this the second time around. Before, I didn't know what to pack. Now, I know to pack a rain jacket, because even if it's sunny during the day, it's damp at night. I know that despite the fact that the bus from Johannesburg to Mbabane is rumored to be able to make the trip in five hours, it never takes less than eight.

I know how big (or small) my room is. I know that some of stuff is in my friend's room, so that they could repaint my room over the holidays. I know that the cafeteria milk is half water. I know that the lettuce gets gross near the end of term. I know that I can hitch-hike into town and be safe. I know that you don't pronounce Mbabane as "EM-ba-bayn" (although that's still adorable, Mom and Dad).

I know what colors the mural in my corridor are, because I spent a hundred hours painting it. I know that the yellow fruits on the trees outside the laundry room are delicious. I know that my friend from Malawi will share them with me, and I know that my friend from India will share the mulberries with me. I know that my friend from Zimbabwe lives across the hall, and that if I point to the poster in her room, she will break into song. I know that my friend from Lesotho will say that I'm "hlanya" when I pretend to speak seSotho, probably because I'm interrupting his physics work.

And I know that it's pronounced "li-SEW-too," not "li-so-THOUGH." (No judgement, America. Maybe only a little bit). But mostly, it's that this time around, I'm not flying across the ocean to a mystery - I'm returning to just another one of my lives, which I suppose is also inherently weird.

Anyways, I get to Swaziland on Sunday night, and then it's another year in Swaziland, and hopefully blog posts throughout. To any northern-hemisphere people reading this, enjoy the rest of your winter! (Teehee...)

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Hello everyone! I know this blog wasn't the greatest at the end of this year, but I'm going to try and be posting a little bit more on it for my second year in Swaziland. I'm in the States right now, but I fly back to Swaziland through Qatar in just about two weeks. It's a very different feeling to be flying back to Swaziland, because for the first time, the big question was, "what is it like there?" Now, my biggest question is "I wonder if the cactus in my room is still alive?"

So, to be quite honest, I'm still in America at the moment, and while I've had a wonderful holidays, I don't have much to write about travelling or culture or whatever this blog is supposed to be about. BUT, there are a lot of people who seem to be writing a whole lot about getting ready to go to Swaziland - the IB1s (the year directly below me in school - aka, the ones going to Waterford for the first time next week).

In honor of their new adventure, and also because they're all very excited and writing lots of blogs, here is a list of some of the new "swazi-uwc-travel-i-am-so-excited-look-at-me-i-can-write" blogs that I've come across from my IB1s.


Also, IB2s who have a blog (no guarantees on how well-maintained they still are)
Also, Waterford graduates (you might have to scroll back a bit to get to info on WK)
And, if you would like a list of lots and lots of blogs from ALL the UWCs, check out Connor's blog's "The UWC Blog List."

That is all from me for now - wishing all the IB1s good luck as you guys leave for orientation, I'll see you after a week when I get there as well! America, you've been great, but I really just want to get back to Swaziland :)