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Rainbow after Idai

This is a story by Amanda Wellmann, a well-known and active member of Ilona Slow Group Creations. She was a tester for Wacky Weave Squares and Wacky Weave Babette.

In this light of the Afrikaans crochet book just published, ‘Hekel en word Heel’, I simply have to share her story. Yet another woman who crocheted through a time of trauma.

Here is her story:

“When Hilda asked me to write the story behind “Rainbow after Idai”, my first instinct was to decline. Although I am a serious chatterbox I do not live with my heart on my sleeve and find it very difficult to talk about my emotions.  But, out of respect for unconditional friendship and emotional support during a very difficult time … this is for my friend Hilda.

We live in rural Mozambique not too far from Beira, and life in rural Africa can be very challenging at times.  We are prepared for most of the day to day challenges but nothing, absolutely nothing, could have prepared us for the total onslaught of Cyclone Idai.

We received notification that a serious cyclone was slowly making its way towards us, and we did everything we could think of to be prepared for the event.   We bought extra water and food and then we waited.   As the cyclone moved towards us the wind picked up and the rain came tumbling down.  Day turned into night with wind and rain like we have never seen. 

We watched huge old trees tumble to the ground and we heard our roof sheets lifting, we ran and moved furniture further into our house, we watched the ceiling cave in and the rain now bucketing down into our home.  We pushed a mattress in front of the door to keep the wind out and we stood in awe of the total onslaught of nature.

Around midnight suddenly everything went quiet, the eye of the cyclone now above us … total silence …. a man started wailing, raw cries, desperate pleas for help, children screaming …….

The following morning brought daylight and we stood speechless surrounded by total devastation and chaos.  There are no words to describe the days that followed, so much heartache, so many lost everything they owned, so many without food, so many without a roof over their heads, so many hungry children and so many who died.

We were literally cut of from the outside world, no communication, no water or electricity for 11 days.  We washed out of a bucket, we burned candles and we rationed our food.

After  8 days finally we had sporadic communication, my cell phone went crazy with 97 messages from family, friends and even people I haven’t seen or heard from in years.  Once contact was restored,  other than our families, only a few friends remained in contact.

One day my friend Hilda phoned me and asked if I am really okay, my answer ….  Yes, we are okay but NO I am not bloody okay!  There is so much heartache, so much devastation, so much sadness, that some days I feel as if I just can not cope anymore … if only I could stop thinking!

My friend listened to me for a long time, making the necessary sound effects where appropriate, and when I finally got rid of all emotions she said …. Well, then we need to keep your head busy with something else.  You used to be a tester right? Right! The testers are busy with the new Rainbow CAL and you can crochet Rainbow with them. Before I could say “pop goes the weasel”, once again I was part of the testers group with access to the new pattern.

MoYa is my favourite yarn and as I stood in front of my quite substantial stash, I decided to crochet myself a happy Rainbow blanket and as I watched it grow, this silent time brought me peace and joy through some very difficult days. 

To my friend Hilda, thank you for your unconditional friendship and thank you for the Rainbow you brought into my life after the devastation of Idai.

Love, Light and Blessings from darkest Africa.”

The kit for Rainbow after Idai will cost slightly more, due to a whole different colour arrangement. But with Amanda being the amazing artist she is, her rainbow came out beyond beautiful. I am honoured to have it now as a kit option for Wacky Weave Rainbow in the Round.

The kits are beavailable from Afrique Yarns.

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1 thought on “Rainbow after Idai

  1. What a heartbreaking, but beautiful story! It made me shed tears both for the devastation felt by so many and for the awesome friendship between Hilda and Amanda. You just know that the friendship bond is unconditional and strong when one friend brings another out of her “funk” by suggestion she work on a crochet project! Thank you so much for sharing this magnificent story and blanket!

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