Monday, August 10, 2009

Visit to Genesis Farm Dairy

We drove three hours to Debra Zeit to the Genesis Farm to see their dairy facility. When we arrived we were told that the only do tours on Saturdays. We persisted and were able to get in for a tour. They have been touted as the most progressive dairy farm in Ethiopia and from what I have seen they are by a long way. Even so, they milk the cows by hand, and do all of their milk processing by hand. They feed their cows the waste vegetables from their fields along with a concentrate mix, alfalfa and elephant grass. They have a methane digester that they use to heat the milk to make cheese. It is a very simple process but an effective one. The dairy herdsman showed us around and explained the whole process to us. They also have chickens for egg production and add the manure to the digester.

After seeing the dairy we walked through the store and then ate lunch in the restaurant. We had a delicious vegetable dish and followed it up with yogurt. The yogurt itself was pretty good for plain yogurt but they had added several tablespoons of lemon juice as a preservative. Once I added several tablespoons of sugar it tasted pretty good.

During lunch we had one of those tender mercies happen. The head of finance for Genesis Farms came to eat and sat at the table next to us. The dairy herdsman who had given us the tour was sitting at that table and told him about us, so he introduced himself and we were able to exchange contact information with each other. I think that will be very helpful to us in the long run. A group was filming on the lawn in front of the restaurant. It was fun to watch the young men and women dancing. The grounds were kept up very nice making it a beautiful peaceful place.

Our driver went on to Addis and picked up Dr. Kolste and brought him back to meet us. We had fruit shakes at a restaurant. The shakes are very good, just blended fruit, almost like a puree. We talked about the country and culture as we made the three hour trek back to the hotel.

We stopped at the Village of Hope on our way back and it was great to see all of the children. They are so excited to see us and love to shake hands and give hugs. It is so sad to think that none of them have parents to care for them. I am so grateful for the knowledge of the atonement of the Savior and how He will make everything right in the end.

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