I landed in Dublin in 2018, excitedly anticipating my new life here. I was sad to leave behind my family, friends, and the country I’d known and loved for decades. But I was ready for this—I had dreamed of living here for years. And though I love it, there have been many challenges and surprises that arose during my past five years here. Visas, banking, taxes, housing, transportation, terminology/slang, procedures, cultural nuances, food, and many more things were all new or different to me. Navigating so many new things at once can make you tired, frustrated, annoyed, and beyond. And even though I am happy here, I can get homesick for all things familiar. A place where I know I belong, and everything is natural.
Photo: Nigist from an Ethiopian Self Help Group. Credit: Tearfund Canada
“What do you have in your house?”
A few years ago, I had the idea to try my hand at gardening. For most of my life, both my parents and my grandparents had their own vegetable and fruit gardens. It wasn’t uncommon for us to come back to our house in the summer and find fresh sweet corn (the holy grail of US Midwestern harvests) placed on our porch by my grandparents. I often remember when my parents would be cooking dinner and find they would need an extra tomato or pepper—they’d run out to the garden and grab one. When I was younger, I didn’t fully appreciate that, but as the years went by, I missed it more and more. I thought I would try to recreate that as best I could.