Carter’s Frequently Asked Questions

As we share our story and adventure with others — whether online or in person — we get asked some of the same questions. Maybe you’re wondering the same things. Below are answers!

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Will you have to learn a new language?

The students, faculty, and staff on campus all speak English because they learned it in school. English is the only common language the students share and most Swazis also speak some English. We do hope to learn siSwati, the language of Swaziland, to better interact with our neighbors. And, the multilingual atmosphere of campus lends to learning songs in a variety of dialects and languages.

Regardless of language, we will learn Swazi customs to be able to act appropriately among the locals. Here’s some traditional Swazi life pictures.

Swazi Hut     Swazi (married) Woman in traditional dress     Swazi Chicken Coop

 

Do you know where you’ll live?

Yes! We will live in a four bedroom, two bath house on campus of the college. Attached to our house is a visitor’s apartment as well. We stayed in this house with Brad’s parents for ten weeks in 2011. Most of our furniture and household needs have already been provided. Just steps out our front door is the macadamia orchard.

Carter House at ACC     Inside Carter House     Kitchen

 

How do your children feel about the move?
Carter Girls

Caroline, Ellianna, and Annie

The girls are very excited and ready to be there, too.

Ellianna, who is 7½, has fluctuating enthusiasm levels about leaving. She loves her friends, reading, sewing, and drawing. Right now, she is engrossed in making cloth bags to raise money to support clean water through Liam’s Wells—a project started by our dear friend Liam Lowe.

Caroline is six. She loves to read, climb, play outside, and do art. She’s great at math and enjoys playing with the neighbors’ dogs.

Annie turns four on Easter weekend. She enjoys life, big sisters, baby dolls, and listening to books. Like her sisters, she is brilliant, funny, sweet, and a handful for her parents.

 

Is it safe?

It is safe! If you’re familiar with some of the missions and ministry centers in Africa, you may picture large concrete walls and armed guards protecting us. Our campus is in a safe, rural area surrounded by a wire fence to keep out the cows (they wander everywhere they can—and sometimes climb through the barbs). Unfortunately, we can’t keep out the snakes – which can be common during rainy season.

Swiftly moving fire among the elephant grass around campus is our biggest threat, but not of personal safety– but of the destruction of our valuable orchard. All staff and students are trained in fire fighting.

Edge of Academic Campus - down to orchard     Married student housing     Fire threatens orchard

What will you do?

Brad will teach and be president of the college. In that role, he’ll oversee the development of the college as it continues to grow and increases its impact. He’ll also be responsible for the college operations, including the macadamia orchard and farm, fund raising and other administrative duties. Rachael will be involved in church and community projects and educational activities for student families in addition to her responsibility as teacher and caretaker of Ellianna, Caroline, and Annie.

 

What about school for the girls?

We made the decision several years ago to homeschool our kids. Since then, homeschooling allowed us to go to Swaziland for ten weeks last year! There are quality schools for them to attend nearby should we change our mind.

 

Are there other kids around?

Many! There are other staff children who live on campus, including two boys between the ages of our girls. Married students are required to bring their wives and children while attending ACC. So that brings additional children to campus for three-year stays. ACC also has a playground in the middle of campus for all the kids to play—a favorite spot of our girls.

Mhango & Carter Kids     Some campus children with Rachael     Merry-go-round playing on campus

 

How long will you be gone?

We made a three-year commitment to the ACC board. But it might be longer. Brad’s parents made a two year commitment to ACC, but will have completed almost ten years before returning home in December. (Fun fact: When Brad & Rachael leave on May 15, 2012 it will be the 9th anniversary of his parents arrival.)

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