Professor Bill McCoy led a group of students on a travel and archiving course to Swaziland, Africa, during the months of May and June, 2010. The group saw the sights, learned about the culture of Swaziland, and helped preserve valuable archival materials that are at risk of disappearing to the elements.
McCoy sent us much-appreciated dispatches about the trip, which proved to be as enlightening and educational as it was eye-opening for all who went.
McCoy wrote from Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital on May 26: “It's just a little after 9:00 a.m. here, and we're getting ready to start another day of work on our archiving project here at the hospital. I just dropped off four of our students this morning to go on rounds with Dr. Paulos, the Ethiopian doctor on staff here who works on the pediatrics ward and coordinates visits for international students.
“We've been having a really wonderful time here; the staff at RFMH have been very generous as our hosts and allowed the students to get a wide ranging view of the medical work being done here; I know they will be anxious to tell you all about it when they return. As a group, we've been working very hard on the archiving project, though it has become clear that we certainly won't be ‘finished’ with it once we leave. We will, however, have helped the hospital clear some additional space, and in a hospital with serious overcrowding issues, I think we all feel good about that. And, besides, not "finishing" leaves the door open for a return visit!”
“Thank you all for your prayers; they have sustained us well. We've had some upset tummies and a few scraped knees, but otherwise kept in good health and very good spirits. I thank God every morning for the wonderful attitudes of the people on this trip, and the joy they show in learning and loving in Christ's name.”
McCoy reported on June 5: “This week we have spent a day with the Luke Commission mobile clinic ministry, a day with the church's HIV/AIDS task force, visiting the homes of people with HIV, and another day painting a rural clinic and nurses' residence. Tomorrow we have church at Ndzingini, where Harmon Schmelzebach established the first mission of the Nazarene church 100 years ago this December. And soon, home again for almost all of us.”
"Our final days together in Swaziland were rich ones," wrote McCoy. "Worship on Sunday at Endzingini was followed by a profound time of prayer together at Prayer Rock, where Harmon Schmelzenbach and other pioneer missionaries of the Church of the Nazarene used to go for solitude. Monday was a day of fun—shopping and swimming as we enjoyed each other's company one last time.”
McCoy, his wife Erin, and their two children are staying in Swaziland for the fall semester while McCoy finishes up research on his dissertation. Plans are underway for future trips to Africa and elsewhere. So, stay tuned.