The plan was to have the ceremony at 10:00am, having told those that had been invited that it was starting at 09:30am. We hadn’t factored in Swazi timing properly though!
The Swazi T.V. crew pitched up at 11:00am, they were the first guests to arrive. I was interviewed first, in front of our newly built pre- school, followed by Phindle who is one of the community representatives and then David Chadder who spoke on behalf of the students.
Our interviews were aired that evening – Amazing!
Unfortunately we had to leave before the official ceremony which started at 11:45! Which was went everyone else arrived.
Lasalette officially opened the ceremony and welcomed everyone – dignitaries, community members, press and the Swaziland tourism authority; it was a great turn out. I don’t think we realised how important the project was to the Njojone community and to Swaziland, until the guests said how impressed they were and how grateful they were for our support. The CEO of the Swaziland tourism authority was very appreciative and pretty amazed at what we had achieved in just 10 days – foundations to completed building which was also all plastered. All the building needs is a lick of paint and the doors and windows fitting.
After a number of different speeches including Toby’s speech in siSwati, we were privileged to have the pre-school children sing us songs and two dance groups came in to perform. Now that was something else!! A real pleasure.
We then moved outside to cut the ribbon across the doorway which was followed by photos for the press, hopefully we will be in the paper next week. That will be something!
We then said a sad farewell to the Njojone. We had been made to feel so welcome it had become a second home, the smiles from the community, the hugs from the children and the laughter each day will be sorely missed.
There were a few tears surreptitiously wiped away as we left… I hope to be back there soon.