24 May 2015

Swazi woman greeting visitors before showing us around her complex for her extended family, daughters, son-in law, and grandkids, plus cattle, chickens, crops, and other self-sufficient resources that make measures of income and poverty so crude.

Tiny Swaziland is about two-thirds the size of Lesotho and also has fewer people (1.3 vs. 2.1 million).

Swaziland is not wealthy but, compared to Lesotho, it is conspicuously more prosperous, with personal income 2.6 times greater.

Lesotho's king is ceremonial, but Swaziland has Mswati III, one of the world's last absolute monarchs, no opposition allowed. He's infamous too for adding teenage girls to his harem of 14 wives.

As in Lesotho, I tried to see some of Swaziland life in the mountains, the schools, and traditional culture.

With Federica and local tour organizer Serge who
facilitated some of my rural, school, and other visits;
eating lunch at an amazingly good local grill.

Swazi school kids lined up for a free lunch of rice and beans.
For some, I was told, it was their only real meal of the day.

Pretty Mantenga Falls in the Ezulwini Valley.

My short video is from the daily dancing and singing performance of the Mantenga Cultural Group at the Cultural Village.