Life’s a garden…(prove you’re not a worthless mzungu and) dig it

I’ll count this as an addendum to my previous post. Or maybe a sequel. Or an afterword. Whatever you want it to be, that’s what it is. Isn’t it great how much agency you have over this blog?

I woke up today with an irrepressible smile on my sleep-drenched face, knowing that I got to throw on some shorts and a dirty t-shirt and walk barefoot through the incessantly sticky mud with Viola and Maama Muganda to the gardens to dig. This served as part of our “relationship building” component of our job descriptions with S.O.U.L. Foundation, but really it was just another fantastic way to get our hands dirty and gain a better understanding of the daily lives of women in Kyabirwa.

Along the way to the gardens – which turned out to be my favorite in the whole village (had no idea who they belonged to), I was met with my fair share of laughs, most amused, many doubtful. But when the digging started, I apparently impressed Maama Muganda and all her daughters, who were delighted at how adept I was with a hoe (I’m going to refrain from making some obvious jokes here). It was a solid two hours of digging, laughing, bonding, and (and this is the addendum/sequel/afterword bit) getting absolutely filthy. Mud covered feet, mud covered blistered hands, dirt flying in my hair. It was everything I wanted it to be. For one glorious morning, Devin got to be shamelessly filthy. Afterwards, when I came home to my water being shut off yet again, I decided I will boycott being clean until the water comes back. Thus, I have been wearing the same clothes I wore last Friday every single day this week, and today I got to let my filthy feet shine through flip flops.

It’s not unprofessional, it’s a statement, and it’s beyond comfortable.

As the tried-and-true saying among me and my closest GHC friends goes: “It’s the little things.”

IMG_8688 Better to just go barefoot.


The Garden. There is a lot of evidence showing that Uganda, and East Africa as a whole, is the cradle of humanity, where our distant evolutionary ancestors diverged into tree-dwellers and walking land-dwellers. Regardless of what human origin story you ascribe to, it’s hard to deny that this part of the world truly is a Garden of Eden.