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Swazi Cultural Village - Matsamo      

A Quick Trip to the Border of Swaziland


Ah, back in 1978, when I was in the 10th grade at the Internationale Schule Hamburg, I was selected, along with 4 others from my school, to represent Swaziland at the Model United Nations in The Hague.  The selection process was an easy one.  The schools chose countries to represent in the order in which they had placed the prior year.   We must have done pretty well the year before, don't you think?  Would any former school mates wish to comment?  Want to know more about the Model UN?  Click here.


Every year in the MUN there is a crisis, which all the participating nations need to find a way to solve.  Wouldn't you know it, in 1978 the Russian-supported Mozambique army invaded South Africa, rolling their tanks right over Swaziland, which was wiped off the map!!!  We placed so well in the competition in 1978 that in 1979 we got to represent Guyana.  (That's right, we were assigned Guyana in September and couldn't find out a thing about the place.  By November Jim Jones had served is followers cyanide-laced cool aid, and there was no chance that anyone would take us seriously this year either!)


At any rate, as a former ambassador from Swaziland, I was eager to have a visit!  We only got as far as the cultural village right on the northern South African border.  




Our guide told us all about the village.  This village has a chief, who has two wives.  Wife One has 16 children and Wife Two has 10 children.  Our guide was the 8th daughter of the first wife, I believe!  Swaziland is ruled by a king.  He has decreed that girls may not marry until they are 25 and boys must wait until they are 30.  All unmarried girls share one house, and all unmarried boys share another house.  Each wife has her own house, as does "grandma" - the chief's mother - who seems to be the real boss of the village.  


Here Oma admires "grandma's" house.  






The day after our cultural visit, we were headed for our first safari!  Want to see?


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Last modified: December 14, 2009