Pictured: the Women Who Dig (i.e. our wonderful sustainable agriculture intern cohort from 2018)

We are delighted to share this reflection, contributed by one of our alumni interns who hails from the UK! Read on and see why A Rocha’s internship program has a transformative impact not only on individuals’ understanding of creation care, but also on their relationships.

In the summer of 2018, five women passionate about sustainable agriculture met and began their 3 month internship at A Rocha Canada’s Brooksdale Environmental Centre in Surrey, BC. 

A Rocha internships have been known to form lasting friendships. There is something about the conversations that naturally flow when weeding the fields or harvesting the week’s CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) vegetables that encouraged deep connection. Additionally, working and living together with people who have similar values and interests created the perfect environment for our farm team to grow. Miraculously, we found that we not only worked well together and were able to motivate each other through long days on the farm, but we also thoroughly enjoyed spending time together. 

After the internship ended, we all stayed in touch from time to time through social media and phone calls. But as the start of the pandemic pushed all connections online, we found we had space in our routines to have group calls more regularly. Every other Sunday afternoon (or morning, depending on time zones) was “Women Who Dig” time. This name/designation was one that we half-jokingly/half-seriously gave ourselves, which we borrowed from a fantastic book by Trina Moyles (of that very title) that some of us read that summer. Not all of us could join our online conversations every week, but the space was there for whoever could come. Luckily, a lot of the time we did manage to get all five of us grinning at the other four small faces on the screen! 

These calls solidified the connections that had flourished at A Rocha and provided a supportive community through the stressful times of the pandemic. On these calls, we each had time to share and be heard as we discerned big decisions and processed questions of self discovery. So, when one of the Women Who Dig (Emily) told us she was getting married, I was already looking for ways to get into Canada (from the UK, during a pandemic!) so that I could be there. And when she asked all four of us to be bridesmaids, I knew I really couldn’t miss it.

Held this September at a farm in Hamilton, Ontario, the wedding was the first time all five of us had been physically together in three years. It was such a beautiful event, and to be able to be there with such special people was not something I thought I’d be lucky enough to experience during the pandemic.

So it was that the Women Who Dig wore farm boots with dresses and danced the night away, celebrating the love of our wonderful friends and the chance to be together to witness it.

Curious to find out more about our Internship program? Visit our Internship page and get in touch with us for more information.