Today was a very special day. We finally have the opportunity to build some keyhole gardens for some worthy people. It took us a few days to get acclimated, get the appropriate tours of schools and farms.
We showed up to graces home at about 1 in the afternoon. She was probably the most beautiful 73 year old mamma that I have ever seen. She was shrivelled up in appearance only and had a deep sense of joy and thankfulness. Her heart was anything but shrivelled as she watched on from her back door as the keyhole garden began to form.
Each stick support that got pounded in the ground gave her the security that a garden would soon be ready to provide much needed nutrients to her body. Theo, our local guide told all of us that “greens make us younger, and this woman can live to over 100 years old! Watch in the coming years she will look younger!”
Grace has had no easy life. She lost her husband in the 1994 genocide and has struggled daily ever since. She told us that she had never had a garden in her life. Most Rwandans diet consists of beans, corn and rice. Enough to keep you alive, but nothing nutrient rich to help combat diseases or ailments.
The image that summed up this particular keyhole build is one that I will never be able to forget. We invited Grace to come out to get a tour of her new garden bed. With joyous tears in her eyes she began dancing, then dropped to her knees with her arms reached out to the heavens in thankfulness.
With loud cheers and applause we all took turns hugging Grace. Life was brought today.
Photo courtesy of Esther Havens