Thank you to Umvoti community

2015-12-16 06:00
 Even the dog kennels weren’t spared.

Even the dog kennels weren’t spared.

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ON 8 December we popped open the cork of our pink champagne bottle, and began to toast to new beginnings and adventures. Before the first sip was had, the rain started to come down. Our daughter (age two) was immediately frightened by the ferocity of the downpour, and we too felt a little concerned.

Within 10 minutes the banks above our farm house began collapsing, and as they came down so did the rain. Soon the back stoep was flooded with a metre of rain pushing up against our kitchen door. And although the door held, it wasn’t long before the water pushed through, infiltrating our house like an army at war.
A may-day call went out, and as hysterical as I was, Charlie Hayden and Kenny handled the call and sent out the alert.

As my children floated down the passage on a couch, the lights went out. The kitchen was knee deep in water, and the rest of the house ankle deep.

In the darkness of the night, lights came up over the hill in the form of desperately needed help. Robb and Geoff Tarr were first on the scene, shortly followed by many generous farmers. A special thanks to Alzanne and Jayden Barnard, my ex-pupils, who quickly came with their parents, armed with brooms and mops.

By 9pm the rain had stopped, but the tears were flowing. Our house was ruined. Every single room had been flooded, and we had lost all of our linen, furniture, curtains and even toys belonging to my stoic children.

But in this all, we gained the security of knowing just how close the Umvoti community is. From farmer to housewife, domestic worker to businessman – anybody who could, came out to help and continued to help long after.

We measured 80mls in the space of two hours.

Thank you for helping us, for being soaked in water and caked in mud. Thank you for working for hours, only leaving shortly before midnight. We feel gratitude beyond what we can measure.

Don and Claire Lagerwall

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