16:2 Lost Footage: Zongo Khumalo

UNFINISHED DOCUMENTARY, STATE OF GRACE  |  Mid-1970s

Interviewee: ZONGO KHUMALO

It had been a couple of years since I’d been back to Kaua‘i, but I thought I knew every place there was to know. In fact, that’s one of the things that made me want to leave in the first place. I had directions and a map to Milakale from Ms. Lucette, but they didn’t really make sense. Where she had drawn the road to the old compound, there was only a tangle of rain forest. I knew that the greenery grew quickly in the tropical climate, but this looked like virgin jungle.

Enrique had a couple of big old machetes in the back of his bus from a harvesting job, so we decided to try and see what, if anything, was on the other side of the grove. We had spent so much time trying to find a road that seemed to no longer exist that the sun was starting to go down. I guess if we hadn’t still been a little wired, we probably would have waited until the next day.

It was pretty rough going, but we did start picking up signs of an old wagon road deep in the thicket. I found it incredible to think that maybe no one had been out this way since the first cars were brought out from the mainland. The very thought sent a chill up my spine especially since the next thought was, “Why not?”

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