David and Lili's World Tour

SWAZILAND

March 22, 2005 - The Kingdom of Swaziland

We thoroughly enjoyed Swaziland. Crime is low compared to the neighboring democracies. There also seems to be less poverty, and the people seem to be more happy and hospitable, despite shocking statistics regarding AIDS. We are amazed at how much the culture is like Brazil.

On our way back from the Hlane Royal National Park, we hitched a ride with Chris, who took us to his grandmother's farm. Chris is helping three AIDS orphans go to school. He says one of the problems with fighting AIDS is that many people deny their sickness is AIDS; they don't understand the science, believing instead that they have been bewitched.

Swaziland has a king who is essentially an absolute dictator. He has 13 wives, and he spends more time with them than governing. But some of his ministers are good. For example, Swaziland hasn't had a rhinoceros poached since 1992, which is quite remarkable. Also, they are trying to recall doctors and nurses who live oversees to help with the AIDS crisis.

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