Ryan Phelps is a pediatrician from Texas who works in Mbabane, Swaziland with the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative.
He runs a great blog about his experiences living and working in Swaziland: “Pediatrician in Swaziland” http://pediatrician-in-swaziland.blogspot.com
He posts about seeing and treating children, the effects of HIV/AIDS and strategies to mitigate those effects, and the Swaziland natural environment, food, and culture.
On June 14, he visited us at St. Phillip’s to share information about pediatric HIV/AIDS care. Click on the link below to visit his blog and see some of the latest photos of Cabrini Ministries- and read more of his great first-person accounts of practicing medicine in Swaziland.
One hundred and one Swaziland destinations- #9: St. Phillips
photo by Ryan Phelps
Click on the link to the IRIN article below to read about how learning farming skills is one way to help the growing generation of orphans and vulnerable children.
Swaziland: Helping Orphans Help Themselves
In the morning, the boys make themselves a fire, and have “homestead life.”
All the boys sit around the fire and talk and hang out a bit together. They get up at 5:00 in the morning to do this on their own; they don’t have to get up that early, but they do, to make little fires and talk with each other as the sun slowly rises. It’s a nice tradition for the boys.
Song and dance are a huge part of Swazi culture. The children we care for love to dance and sing.
Recently, a young man of the community had passed away due to complications from HIV/AIDS. Sr. Diane attended his funeral, and all the family and friends were just devastated. There was so much sadness in the room, but then, the pastor spontaneously started to sing. Soon everyone joined, and began to dance as well. The song was kind of upbeat and happy, but everyone used the music and dance to work out their feelings, deeply expressing the pain and suffering of the community, in such a powerful and positive way. To hear this song and see this dance was so moving and gave Sr. Diane and the mourners there great hope after such a loss. This is what music and dance mean to this culture.
We hope to be able to share the voices of the children with you soon, as audio clips on the Blog, so stay tuned! For now, click on the photo album below to see pictures of the children during their free time on the grounds playing and singing and dancing.