KZN News letter 1
31st December 2004
For those of you who do not know what we are doing now, we are in the beautiful hills of KwaZulu Natal (KZN). It is about an hour away from Durban, near the village of Hillcrest down in a valley called KwaNgcolosi on the Inanda Dam. There is a small peninsula where a small group of people started organic vegetable gardens. When they came here there was nothing. They literally camped in tents and had to start from scratch. They are aiming to be completely self sustaining in the next few months and are teaching these skills to the local community. We linked up with them so once and for all we will prove that our program really works. We are filming and documenting everything and every body so there will be no misunderstanding. For those of you who have already received this newsletter, I have added pictures in this newsletter and changed the text somewhat.
Our sincere apology for not reporting earlier on the progress made with our project at Inanda Dam. You may have thought we had disappeared from the face of the earth. It is just that our living arrangements are very primitive. The most beautiful dining room but … no electricity, no running water, and a long drop, which was experimentally designed for later supplying energy, but has failed to do that as yet. Like Kim says: Back to the drawing board.
Our cell phones are charged on batteries, and e-mailing etc. can only be done in the office of the king, Nkosi Bhengu where there is electricity. Showering is under a makeshift shower with buckets of water from the dam, which at 6’ o clock in the morning is well … very refreshing.
We wanted primitive, because we know if our program works here it can work everywhere. But this kind of primitive we did not bargain for. A sense of humor and acceptance that you cannot use your laptop at night to write for example a newsletter to you or receive/send e-mails makes it easier. At night we only use the laptop to copy the photographs of the day otherwise your battery runs out. For the rest we use candles and little lights on you head with which you can read, or update the patients file, or walk in the dark to the long road to freedom – which is the long drop – about 50 meters from the rondawels.
The start went very slow, because people were hesitant to come forward to these 2 “weird” women. However, once the news started to travel that our first few patients started to recover, more and more new patients started to arrive.
Our first two patients whose recovery was dramatic were an old Sangoma and a young girl. The old Sangoma had been unable to walk for 5 weeks after her “Big ill” (whatever that was, because doctors treat their patients like children and do not tell them what is wrong with them) and an operation in her mouth – throat – we are not sure were as she also did not know herself.
It is a shame that doctors in this day and age still not talk to their patients and explain what is happening to them. This lady also thought she was dying as she was getting weaker and weaker and nothing was working. Her operation was also a mystery as we could not determine if she had something done to her throat, her jaws or her teeth as everything was painful. Within a few days she was walking around in the rondawel and when we saw her again she had already used the long drop outside (though not 50 meters away from the house).
Two weeks later we saw her at the pension payout in the community hall and she looked so beautiful – regal is a better word as you see in the picture below. She also talked with Dr Manto on her first visit about our program and how she is feeling now. She was very disappointed with her Sangoma friends (being herself a Sangoma) as they stayed away when they could not help her. On film we have her in the most beautiful coloured clothes, which is what makes our work so wonderful and rewarding – the transformation from sickness to health and happiness.
The young girl, Cindy, had AIDS and TB and if you look at her questionnaire, there were hardly any no’s. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, painful stomach, thrush, itchy skin, shortness of breath, body pains, sore hands, feet and swollen legs, pain in the head, sore throat (thrush) tiredness, thrush in the private parts, anemia +++, depressed and weighing only 35 kg (Before getting sick she was 47 kg). The family was already sharpening the spade to prepare the grave.
Luckily for Cindy she has a very caring mother, who really was prepared to do everything and made sure Cindy took everything. A few days later we heard through the grapevine that she had gone shopping in Pinetown. We went straight to her house to explain that this was not a good idea, as she still needed all her strength to heal properly and rest was part of the medicine. It is very common though that when people have been sick for a long time and they start feeling better, they want to go to the shops, as it is part of the living world and not the dying world.
The rest of her family was also not very healthy. Her sister is pregnant but very malnourished and you could hardly feel the baby. We adopted her also on the program and now she is looking and feeling much better and the baby too. When the mother realized that she would not have to bury her daughter, she had a mini collapse (she could let go of being strong), so we have put her also on the program.
What the family has realized is that nutrition is extremely important, and to stay healthy they have to do something. So out with the sugar, putu, rice and nyama (only in very limited amounts), and in with amanzi, fruit and veg etc. etc. They started cleaning their garden, and have prepared 22 big beds to plant vegetables. Cindy’s boyfriend is now also on the program, although he needs some more sessions with us as he likes the Smirnoff too much. All our patients that are very close to us have nicknames, and Cindy’s is Pinetown. Cindy still has a few problems as she is still on TB treatment, but she has already moved back with her boyfriend and appreciates life to the full.
After Cindy’s and the old Sangoma’s recovery, word was spreading far and wide, and more patients were coming forward. We were now inundated with calls for help and we spend basically 5 days a week doing home visits. We soon realized that this was unproductive as each home visit would take us at least 2 hours and we were only able to see about 4 new patients a day and had to follow up the existing patients.
We had been kicked out of the clinic because we were accused of practicing unconventional and unproven treatment (what is new). Luckily Nkosi Bhengu (the king) had borrowed us the Van. We had 3 “clinic” days in front of the clinic from the Van and the back of the Mercedes. Afterwards Nkosi organized for us to hold our clinics in the Community Hall and from his offices at the tribal court. Nkosi has a very good understanding of what we are doing, and once he saw the results of patients recovering, he was – is extremely supportive.
In a way it was a real pity that the nurses and doctors did not want to work with us. They tried to convince the patients not to consult us, but this was in vain. The clinic was basically empty and we saw between 40 and 80 patients a day, and holding numerous health talks.
What was really beautiful was the reaction of the Sangoma’s when they heard about our results. They approached us if we could share the information with them, which we gladly did. The more people know about the program, the better. Mrs Bhengu, who is on the committee of Traditional Healers organized a very successful day attended by about 70 Sangomas, which exceeded our expectations as we were thinking that if 20-25 would come, it would already be a very good day.
Our program is a real Wellness Program. President Mbeki was right when he said that heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis TB etc. are huge upcoming health problems. We do not think they are upcoming problems, we know they have arrived. Every second person in these hills and valleys is anemic and many people are extremely malnourished – overweight but malnourished. Many, many people are uncontrolled diabetics and even after years of treatment are losing their eyesight. The other frightening thing is the little water they drink: One kommetjie a day, perhaps two. As you will see in the film, it is extremely hot there – there is your answer to all the headaches. We explain that the brain needs water, and if it does not get enough water, it shrinks and bounces around in your skull. The next week when they come back – no more headache!
We are treating the patients who are loosing their eyesight for free, or who’s BP won’t come down with conventional treatment etc. The rest are given advice on what to do. We call those the “Sugar talks” and we have at least 3 a day. The girls (volunteers) hate them but one of our volunteers, Petros, a very kind and gentle young man is extremely good with them. We explain that when they are overweight they get sugar – yes, sugar causes sugar, let’s call a spade a spade. And no, sugar does not give you energy as advertised. And what is sugar? Not only the tablespoons in the tea, but also cool drink, juice, refined maize, white flour, rice etc. Once you are overweight, and we let them carry the amount they are overweight around, (sorry – with some of your products) they realize where their sore knees, body pains, headaches etc. comes from. Next we explain that the heart has to work harder to supply blood to this big body which then causes high BP. Eventually the heart says enough: Stroke! We also show them pictures of what sugar can do, and encourage them to come back every week for support in a healthy lifestyle – not diet. Many do. Sometimes you think the scale will not hold, but so far it has with 137kg. We sold for a few days the ingredients at cost to these groups of patients, but we stopped as it is not a good idea to have money on us.
We met one lady who for 5 years was unable to walk, wash herself or go to the toilet and was basically “jailed” in her body and room because of uncontrolled sugar and high BP. She had to be pulled on a bucket somehow. Her nickname is Jailbird.
Last Tuesday we saw her beautifully dressed up collecting her own pension. She can now walk to the taxi rank, instead of a taxi having to drive up to her door and than being carried in the taxi. We have it on film how she tells that she can wash herself again, and walk to the toilet just after a week on our program, and than you see her walk and dance as she celebrates her mobility.
The other day we saw her finishing her washing as we arrived. She has also started to read her Bible, as sometimes she can see enough to read again (also using our drops). Imagine that for 5 years you are in a very small, badly ventilated room, dependent for everything on other people. There are many people like this lady hidden in the beautiful hills.
Miracles are happening every day! One old lady of 89 had been blind for 20 years with cataracts. We treated her cataracts with some drops that we mix, put her on the whole program so she could regain some strength, and now she is seeing and walking around everywhere. You will not believe the hills she is walking everyday, as some of these hills are very steep. Wherever we go we hear she was here or there just the other day, visiting all the people she literally had not seen for all those years. She has joined again the choir and the women’s group of the church – and is really on a mission wanting to catch up of 20 years of darkness and dependency.
It was very emotional when they phoned us to tell that she was seeing again. One of those goose pimple moments! When we came across her, she recognized Nelly by her voice and came running to her, hugging her. Both were crying. She told Nelly that one morning she woke up and her eyes were all wet and snotty. She than took some toilet paper, wiped her eyes, and when she than opened her eyes she could see again, the hills, her children and grandchildren, everything. She calls Nelly her daughter that was send by Jesus to give her sight back. She had hoped that she would still see before she died and her prayers have been answered. This is one lady really having a happy New Year.
Here she has told her story to Dr Manto. Cindy can be seen with the white skirt. Since then we have used these eye drops in 5 other patients. One man of 75 years describes it as the fog that has lifted from his eye. The other lady can also see clearly again. Three others people can already see light and dark and should see in about 6 – 8 days time. Waiting can be long and we will only see them when we are back. Luckily we have put these old people also on our program, as they were stiff and weakened from not being able to walk on their own, so now they will have the strength to enjoy their new freedom.
And than there is AIDS! They are all hidden in the hills, and our poor Mercedes is really feeling its age (1986) going to these rondawels. Sometimes you do not know how to tackle the road, so you just close your eyes and hope for better times or better roads. We are extremely fortunate to have the Van from Nkosi Bhengu available, to transport our volunteers etc. The boot and the backseat from the Mercedes are our driving natural pharmacy and skin treating goodies.
Many are really sick, especially with TB. The TB treatment here is a real problem as many have been on TB treatment for 3 – 6 years and not recovering. Being very toxic drugs, patients get epileptic fits and suppressed bone marrow, causing severe anemia. We have many patients who are recovering beautifully, and some we are struggling with because of the TB treatment and 5 people have died. We will tell their story in the documentary.
We have cut down on our home visits. Patients also find the means to go to the clinic so we feel they should find the means to come to us. From our last writing we only have 1 day where we do home visits for very weak patients, and now people are bringing their patients in bakkies and wheelbarrows to the Community hall or the Tribal court.
We also seem to have found a treatment for a tropical fungus, which is rife here. It is called Cryptomycosis and the only solution Doctors have for this fungus is amputating the limbs. Thandi, now a volunteer was the first person we saw with that fungus. We put her on the whole program 3x a day and even increased the garlic and Africa’s Solution etc. We also made a cream to apply to the leg after cleaning it and it has really improved a lot. You will also see her later acting as my translator with Dr Manto’s 2nd visit and talking about her own leg. We now are busy with a lady who has had it for 48 years and was also advised to amputate her leg, and a little girl of 4 who has it very badly on her legs, arms etc. Many more people have small spots with this fungus.
Another miracle has been the stopping of Epileptic fits. This little girl below, who we have nicknamed Innocence, had between 5 and 8 big fits a day, each lasting more than 5 minutes. The fits started when she was 8 years old, and unfortunately her brain got damaged from all the fits. She is a now 14 years old with a mind of an 8 year old girl. That is why we call her Innocence as she is such a lovely little innocent girl. We put her on the lemon / olive oil mixture, Africa’s Solution and added some extra oils found in sardines and Hemp. The last time we saw her she’d had 1 small fit of about 20 seconds in 15 days. If it stays like this, she will be able to go to a special school in Stanger, although her parents are worried how they will get all the extra things to her so she won’t start fitting again
The Minister Dr Manto came 2 weeks ago at very short notice. Wherever we are busy with a project or in a hospital she tries to come and see / hear for herself from the patients. Nkosi Bhengu and his right hand man Amatouwo (named like that because of his head gear and not our nickname) were there to welcome the Minister. We had asked some of our patients to come and talk with the minister. Cindy Pinetown, Previously blind lady, the old Sangoma and Nelly (the girl in the wheelchair) all told their stories of how they were and how they are now after being on our Program. We told Dr Manto about the terrible sugar and high BP problems we are seeing everywhere. Subsequently a health promotion day was planned and held by the Department of Health and the local health committee on the 5th December. The day included a fun walk, visits to 3 gardens, and a community meeting. Most or all of our patients were there, many also took part in the fun walk even though it was extremely hot.
The next day the following article below is what the Press reported on. Yes, she did speak about alcohol and drinking and driving, but it was a very small part of her speech. The day was about health awareness, healthy lifestyles, and starting and maintaining vegetable gardens. With good nutrition and the few simple remedies included in our Program, people can recover from many things. One reporter interviewed Cindy Pinetown, which was shown someday that week around 5 o’ clock in the morning on TV (who is up to watch anything at that time). Nothing was mentioned of Gladys, or the various other patients with different health problems we mentioned as an example. These include the Previously Blind Lady, or a lady who had terrible arthritis and after one week on our Program was able to do Zulu dancing, or the AIDS and TB patients who a few weeks ago were too weak to stand, and had walked the fun walk that day, or the diabetic people whose sugar levels are stabilizing and whose eye sights are improving. Kim’s wife Delaine wrote a letter to the newspaper, which they published. See below.
What I personally think of the press is not for repeating – it would be x-rated. Are they either extremely stupid or deliberately spiteful or plain lazy? What they do not realize is that at the end of the day the truth will come out, and they, together with many doctors, scientists and members of the TAC, who have been calling us names, will have to sit with their guilty consciences of lives lost. We are now basically doing their work for them, documenting everything and showing that this is truly a Wellness Program. If you clean the body and restore the biochemistry, the body can take care of itself, be it AIDS, arthritis, diabetes, TB, epileptic fits high BP etc. etc. Included in the treatment package is probably also the most important aspect: A willing ear to listen, time for personal attention and lots of TLC!
I realize this has become a long writing, but it has also been a long and busy 3 months, seeing in total about 350 patients, many with repeat visits. As it is old year’s eve and we are a few hours away from the New Year, one becomes philosophical. What do we want from the New Year? Health, (is wealth) and happiness for the whole Nation and ourselves! It is possible, and with your help we are making it possible. By documenting everything, nobody will be able to deny anymore that this program works. On Tuesday we are driving back to KZN to do 10 more days of clinics and home visits, and than we will start editing our films. Hopefully by the end of January it will be finished and shown on TV. We will be able to give many of our patients another month of supplies, and after that they have to buy their own things. Some will struggle to do that, which I will explain in my next writing, but most of them can afford it.
For the people who donated ingredients to us, perhaps now you realize how much of a blessing your products are. Some last photos of a young man who is on the road of recovery. I hope it will bring a smile to your heart and be a good start for your New Year. We wish you love and happiness for the New Year from a very hot Bloemfontein. Till the next time from KZN.
Tine, Nelly and Kim from KZN
This young man was extremely weak and thin, and has a huge bedsore on his bum to prove the point he was even too weak to turn himself.