Tuesday, June 18, 2013

throw down your heart

A large part of my trip to Rwanda is being with these woman to help open up some new color options in their dye work. It is a collaboration with True Vineyard Ministries, a counseling and support system that works with 35 woman who come to the center each day to process, by hand, naturally dyed yarns from their small flock of sheep and in turn they get paid to support themselves and their families. I have brought seeds for them to plant for their own garden which you can see in the background. Until the seeds grow we will dye with the raw dyestuffs such as madder root, weld, indigo and cochineal. For the dyes they can't obtain I will provide and hopefully get others involved with donations to the project. They are presently dyeing with eucalyptus, coreopsis and herb plants they also use for stomach illnesses.
We started the day with an introduction to the week's work.
Simon, to my right who is the country director for TVM, translated for me from English to Kinyarwanda.
Faustin, to my left, is the farm manager.
The ladies all welcomed me with a singing prayer that was beautiful.
Here the ladies are looking at what cochineal bugs look like.
Their days are spent like this.
Washing the raw wool, picking the dried locks, carding into rolags to spin,
spinning the yarn and then dyeing it.
It's a peaceful place that will also burst out in prayer, song and dance.
The ladies are struggling with a number of issues; poverty and sickness always
run throughout and there are tears for the fears.
At the end of the day the ladies wanted to dance and so did I.
Virginia, the dyer, took my hands. They sang a welcome song.
A wonderful start to the week.
This morning the dyework begins.
There are lots of hugs, smiles and warmth from the ladies.
They always find the strength for that. Amazing.


  1. Pam Welty6:17 AM

    Wonderful! I loved reading this. What a gift for everyone involved!

  2. Thank you for sharing this Nancy. A lovely interaction.

  3. you're awesome! and coreopsis! I didn't know about this one. Is there a particular species/variety?

  4. Nancy--it was great to see this! I am in Africa alot and just loved the story. Hope you and Jack are doing great ... love to you both.

    Teri Riddle

  5. thank you, Nancy. I'm keeping you in my prayers.

  6. Thank you all.
    Laurel, any species will work. They use just the flowers here and it makes a lovely orange.