By Katherine Standefer—VQR—December 13, 2018—

The diggers have been gone less than a year. In the grown-over patches on the slope of Mpama South, emptied anchovy tins rust in the dirt beside strips of tarp, thick plastic jugs, and waxy cartons of mango juice squeezed flat at the waist. Over them grows a lace of cherry tomatoes: some hard and green, some red and ready for plucking.

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This is the first dispatch  from #VQRTrueStory, a social-media experiment in nonfiction. Follow the rest of the essay in installments on Instagram: @vqreview