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  • 1.
    From my African diary:

    There is a Dutch woman in Swakopmund, who grows vegetables out of town in the desert. Several times a week she sells her organic produce on a little stand outside a photography shop in downtown. She offers delicious asparagus and even has self – pressed olive oil for sale.

    Just for the fact that she produces vegetables in this desert country where nearly all fresh fruits and vegetables are imported from South Africa, makes me like her. I like also that as a pendant she wears a piece of drift wood on a leather string around her neck.

    On December 31st we go and buy a bunch of fresh asparagus from this woman. While she wraps it for us her ceil phone rings. She answers it and suddenly has to sneeze many times in a row. A cold wind is blowing even though it is high summer here. “I hope that you are not catching a cold!” comments my husband

    “She finishes her phone conversation, laughs and explains,” I never ever get a cold, but this was my husband calling. I am allergic to him: whenever he calls me I have to sneeze violently!”

    We take our package with asparagus and wish her a Happy New Year. She laughs again and tells us,” You know, I have four children. I had completely forgotten about the festivities. Yesterday my youngest daughter asked me: Mommy, what are we going to do for Christmas? I answered, you know, Christmas was last week! My daughter was shocked and angry that we had not done anything special for Christmas. So I promised my children that on New Years day I will all take them out to the beach! I would prefer to spend the day with my vegetables, but tomorrow I will be at the beach, never mind!"

    Here in my little town in Mexico I have a friend, Christel, who is a wonderful painter and gardener. She paints and builds gardens. The other day she told me she went to the market to buy leek, she was hungry for a good leek soup. She went from stand to stand and finally found what she looked for: tender young leek stems. She paid the vendor and put the leek in her basket. While walking home she suddenly heard the leek talking to her. It said," I am still young, I could grow stronger. I am not ready to be eaten. Please, return me to the earth!" First she thought she was going coocoo. But the leak kept insisting. By the time Christel returned home, she could not get herself to cut that tender leek into pieces. It would break her heart! She went and put it into the soil in between all the flowers blooming there. Instead she prepared potato soup. The leek is still growing and when it is just fine, Christel will have the heart to transform it into soup. She promised to invite me!

    Art by Kiki
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