Monday, June 22, 2009

week 5

This week we had a lot of fun! Things have been moving along well, but it still feels like we have a mountain of tasks to tackle. On Monday, I went to Kaberebere to seek out some goats to give to beneficiaries. It was more of a wild goat chase, but still fun to be out in the field working with our co-workers Joseph and Hilda. I also worked with the global vets girls on a silage project. They worked all day chopping grass by hand, and at the end of the day I, Hilda and Joseph spent about 3 hours helping them. We chopping napier grass with a machete on a tree trunk into ¼” pieces and we only filled less than a quarter of the silage pit with chopped napier grass. I felt like it was a lost cause, but the girls filled me with ambition and hope.
On Tuesday, we had training on how to manage dairy goats in the morning, and then a celebration for the day of the African child in the afternoon. Three schools participated and we had some speeches, the kids sang some sad songs about losing loved ones to AIDS, then we had some fun games at the end. I organized a relay race where the children put on two articles of baggy, adult clothes, and had to carry an egg on a spoon to the end and back, then switch with their teammate until all four team members were finished. They were shrieking with excitement and it was hard to keep them under control.
Wednesday, Rocky and I spent the day in town while Hersh did the dirty work in the field. We got supplies, did some brucella testing of the goats we were to buy for the beneficiaries, and visited our friend Godwin, a principal of a local primary school.
Thursday we did meat goat training in the Kyera parish. It was also a rewarding experience, as the beneficiaries had a lot of knowledge and we had a lot of fun doing skits for them, and interacting with them. The ladies sang and played the drums after we arrived, and were waiting for everyone to show up. In Africa, you set the time to start as 9am, and some people don’t even show up until 11am! It is amusing and also difficult when you are planning an event. We gave out two meat goats each to 8 beneficiaries in the Kyera district, the newest addition to the project. They were so grateful and we had a ceremony where formal speeches were made, we said a few words to the women, and as is tradition, we participated in some dancing and singing. We met a very smart boy (man) of 21 years old who knows a lot and can speak many languages: in addition to many Ugandan languages he knows French, and he knows English better than I do. He taught me a few sayings including ‘be good to your friends on the way up, because you will meet them again on your way down’.
On Friday I spent the day with Innocent and Purinari in Nyamuyanja looking at pigs with them. It was also very rewarding to work with the paravets as they had no previous training in pig medicine. I am looking forward to the next week and to find out what adventures/challenges we will meet.

1 comment:

  1. Pam! You guys are doing such great work. I love to hear about the relays and the skits. I knew you would be amazing. I can't believe how fast your time is going there....I am so jealous you got to spend a day with Innocent and Punari. I love those guys. I actually talked to Punari on the phone last night! Keep up the amazing work. You guys are such troopers... I can't believe how much you are accomplishing in such a short time already.