We peered out the window this morning to evaluate the rainfall overnight and instead saw that corn had been transferred and re-planted into our garden!
The goal of the garden was to both work together and to equip our neighbors with the land, tools, and seeds necessary to work on their own. We knew we’d be out of town and busier some weeks with teams, making us unable to keep up with everything. Thus, they have a key to our gate so they can work on the garden any time.
This, though, was the first time they went and did some work by themselves, which we were so excited to see.
We went over into their yard earlier this week to deliver a huge roll of plastic that Partners had no use for. One of the staff suggested they might need it for their roofs during rainy season, which are compiled from a collection of leaves and trashed plastic or metal. And then they come over into ours. We’re slowly crossing boundaries and communicating through actions.
Recently, the relationships we are building with this community across the street have become the most encouraging part of being here. It’s been trying, too, and we’ve had to scrub crayon off the side of our house three times, pick up large amounts of litter each week, and throw away the destroyed hammock that used to hang in our yard. Even so, it’s wonderful. The kids play on our front porch nearly every day, playing this rubber band game with the lines on our tile. They run to hug us when we leave and form welcome lines on the road when we drive by. The backup to the sides of the road and wave shouting “hello!” and “goodbye!” at the same time. (I don’t think they understand when to use either one.) And each day, amidst leaving all their trash, they are sure to sweep off our front steps.
It’s really lovely, and I can’t even describe it. As long as we’ve worked with the Karen and other resettled refugees in the States, I’ve never experienced so little communication. I’ve never been where I can’t even ask their names. But we’re friends.