Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bread There, Done That

A month ago the Bulembu Country Lodge hosted the Havelock Mine Reunion. Many old Mine Managers came back to their old stomping grounds with their families for a weekend of good food, good friends and good stories. While they were here many of them gave us photos from the time of the Mine. We will post them as the weeks/months/years go by, but for now take a look at how bread distribution in Bulembu has changed over time...or has it?

If you have a history with Bulembu and have photos or stories we would be interested in, please email them to Thank you!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Can You Picture It?

A central feature of Bulembu’s landscape is the massive, dilapidated building up on the hill that houses the remains of what was once the world’s longest cableway system. Built in 1939 the cableway stretches between Bulembu and Barberton, South Africa and was used during the time of Havelock Mine to ship asbestos into South Africa for market and to bring coal back to Bulembu to power the town.

Today part of the structure has been renovated for honey manufacturing and part of it is being transformed into a central kitchen for the orphan care program, but most of the station remains untouched. Old cable cars sit overturned atop piles of wood and garbage on the concrete floor, the mouths of open coal shafts remain open despite over a decade passing since they were last fed, wires hang loose, walls crumble and wheelbarrows lay on their sides – long since forgotten.

But this space, with its vaulted ceilings and midtown location caught the attention of Bulembu’s owners long ago as the perfect location for a museum. Today, six years later, a team of construction workers, cleaners and painters led by one of the world’s leading Swazi anthropologists, Bob Forrester, are turning vision into reality.

Renovations and construction on this project are slated to begin in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for more photos as the transformation unfolds. 

Friday, October 23, 2009

Let Them Eat Doughnuts

After just four days of baking fever, the front counter of the Bulembu bakery is littered with tasty treats. From jelly doughnuts to glazed twists, rye bread to sweet muffins there is something for everyone.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Let's Break Bread

After much anticipation the Bulembu Bakery opened its doors yesterday afternoon to throngs of eager customers. As the sweet scent of freshly baked bread and scones wafted down the main street Bulembu's managers and workers gathered together to celebrate the first 38 loaves out of the oven. For years the ministries and people in Bulembu have depended on bread deliveries from Piggs Peak - over 45 minutes away on an unreliable dirt road. The construction of the bakery began just over six weeks ago and and since then the building has been gutted, renovated, painted, wired, plumbed, and filled with bakery equipment.  Townspeople are now able to go to the town center, just beyond the old Bulembu Supermarket and purchase a loaf of bread for E6.70. Delicious Chelsea Buns (cinnamon buns), rock buns and rye bread are also currently available. We've got our fingers crossed that the bakery will bust into the doughnut market soon!