After our overnight stay at the Mbolompo Home stay, we began the next day with a tour by Roger Galloway, who is coordinating the building of home stays in the of the rural village of Zithulele; located in the Eastern Cape province in the Wild Coast. Roger took us on a walk through the village
to view the current structuring of the Zithulele Hospital Accommodation.
After our tour we headed to our next destination, Bulungula Lodge,
which required us to drive down a 50 km bumpy gravel/dirt road through the most remote parts of Africa.
(Note: “Amathole” means calves, the name of the mountain range and forest which forms the northern boundary of the district)
The lack of access and infrastructure means that the local people live in abject poverty.
The Bulungula Lodge is situated in the most beautiful of the breathtaking Wild Coast and runs on solar power.
It has ten huts
positioned for great sea and forest views.
Their odorless composite toilets are the most colorful in Africa.
Their rocket showers are legendary.
We met some interesting people during our stay.
I met Mbali Creazzo, who is a medicine woman, teacher, healer, creative artist and cowrie shell diviner.
She was born as Toni in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Because of apartheid her family moved to London, when she was three (3) years old. Both of her parents were teachers and very radical, but allowed their children to follow their dreams and hearts in what they wanted to do. Mbali worked for 25 years as a massage therapist, which led her to exploring integrative medicine, the power of healing and introducing traditional methods. She was confirmed and given the name Mbali by Credo Mutwa, who is a Zula Sangoma, well known for his work in nature conservation and the author of several books on African mythology and spiritual beliefs.
A cowrie shell diviner means she is trained in West African tradition of the Dagra people, which makes her a diviner. The Cowrie Shell Divination is a reading that helps people understand where they are at this moment in time.
Mbali is known as the Mother of the Movement and the inspiration behind the New York Times Best Selling book “29 Gifts” by Cami Walker, which was featured on the Today Show. “29 Gifts” featured on Today Show .
Mbali had recently moved back home to South Africa after being gone for over 50 years, but had not settled into a designated area. She was staying at the Bulungula Lodge for 2 months to write. I asked her what made her move back to South Africa and she said, “My ancestors.”
We also met four (4) young medical doctors in training, who have become friends; Matthew Kassier (from Pietermaritzburg), John Frith (from Cape Town), Louis Van Der Walt (from Port Elizabeth) and Jaco Horak (from Port Elizabeth). They are all currently studying medicine in Stellenbosh, South Africa at the Stellenbosch University on the Tygerberg campus.
Coincidentally, the Young Doctors were working on a five (5) week rotation at the Zithulele Hospital, which we had just seen on our tour through the Zithulele Village with Roger Galloway.
Zithulele is one of the poorest rural areas in South Africa; only 9% of households have access to electricity and a little over a quarter to piped water.
Zithulele Hospital is a Provincial government funded hospital with departments that include Emergency department, Paediatric ward, Maternity ward, Our Patients Department, Surgical Services, Medical Services, Operating Theatre and CSSD Service, Pharmacy, Anti-Retroviral (ARV) treatment for HIV/AIDS, Post Trauma Counseling Services, X-Ray Services, Physiotherapy, NHLS Laboratory, Occupational Services, Laundry Services, Kitchen Services and Mortuary.