Sunday 28 Jun
A wrongly identified vine opens a wonderful opportunity for Cathie and Andy to connect with their neighbour.
Cathie and Andy share how they are putting down roots in their new neighbourhood.
"It has been very exciting over the past month to settle into our new home. Our house is on a small plot of land carved out of surrounding rice fields. One of my favourite things to do is to sit on the front porch, particularly with a morning coffee, and watch the life around me. Cows wondering past on the way to pasture, a Khmer lady selling breakfast noodles from the back of her bike, last nights dishes being washed, a house rapidly being built across the road, children buying drinks from the local drink stand and motorbikes coming back from market laden with the days supply of fruit and vegetables.
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We are thankful that our landlord planted a small patch of grass in our front yard and a collection of fruit trees, including a mango, longan and pomegranate tree. She also put compost on our trees that are now growing well. One morning when I was watering and watching and drinking coffee I noticed a small vine growing from the compost at the bottom of our new tree. Thinking it was a cucumber vine I was excited to train the baby vine up our ugly wire fence to create a vertical garden. To my delight, with the tropical humidity and rains my vine grew rapidly. The kids watched expectedly as small fruit began to form, until one day a neighbour came and asked why I was growing a watermelon vine on my fence and not on the ground! I explained I thought it was a cucumber plant!
But by this time it was too late, the whole village was laughing at my gardening prowess and my vine was firmly wrapped around my fence. Later on that day she came with little hammocks she had made for my baby watermelons to sit in so their weight would not break my vine. We are now all excited for that first watermelon to be ready so we can cut it up and share it with our new neighbours."