This picture is more of a snapshot than a photo and, to me, is far more about the story than the picture itself. The tiny Egyptian desert village of Siwa is surrounded by hundreds of miles of open desert. But the village itself is fed by hundreds of freshwater springs, an oasis in the middle of a lot of desolation and emptiness.
One of my days there, a few of us rented bicycles to explore in the morning before the sun was at its highest and the temperatures soared to just shy of the 40 degrees C range. On the edge of the village, by a small spring where a few children were swimming, the man you see in the picture came over to us to invite us to see his garden. He motioned towards these two small, largely barren square patches of ground. We decided to humour him and follow him. But he walked us past what we mistook for his garden, through a fence into the most amazing, lush collection of plants for a spot on the edge of the desert. It felt like his own private orchard and jungle, with everything from onions and sugarcane to silkworms, honeybees and lemons, all mingled together. It was over-all an unexpected find, even moreso that he, the farmer in remote Egypt, left us the foreign tourists with fresh produce and even a small bundle of silk (worm intact) to take with us. To me, this picture speaks a lot to pride of ownership and is a testament to what can be done with even scarce resources when you put the effort into it.
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