A homeless fellow living with an elderly lady was quite thankful for the keyhole garden build that we completed for his friend.
He was moved by the generosity and hard work and decided to pick up a shovel and help us on the other garden beds that day. And it was not only him but often the mamas would help out, pick up their own tools and start fracturing the concrete-like soil to be used for the keyhole gardens.
I have to admit Rwandan men and women know how to work. We North Americans took shifts of 5-10 minutes to preserve our energy on the humid and hot African heat. These people often completely showed us up with their energy and dexterity.
This man followed us around helping us and his neighbours all day. After the last garden build I noticed him sitting by himself in the shade as we were packing up the tools. I went over and sat beside him asking him if I can have his picture taken along with me. “Photo?” I said … He nodded.
So I sat down beside him, turned on my iPhone and flipped the camera to reveal both of us on the screen. The moment he saw himself he started laughing and immediately adjusted his had and hair. It was hilarious. I caught a quick photo in the moment.
After he adjusted his hat and the final photo was taken, he looked at me and began to speak. I saw him mouth some words but no voice came out. Tears of appreciation welled up in his eyes. No words needed to be spoken. I knew what he wanted to say. Some things seem to transcend language and culture. Tears welled up in my eyes too. We patted each-others back in appreciation of each other.
Funny how giving of yourself seems to be contagious.