Monday, October 26, 2009

Success at Debre Zeyit and Holeta

I didn’t sleep well at all last night. I was hoping that since I had been so tired all day I would be able to sleep. As soon as I closed my eyes my mind was flooded with all sorts of images. They were mainly Ethiopian in origin, but mixed with a lot of everything else. I would open my eyes hoping that when I closed them again things would have cleared out or slowed down but it didn’t help. I prayed for help and tried to calm my mind down but didn’t seem to get any relief. Then I tried focusing my thoughts on the next days work, and after a while I was finally able to drift off and sleep, more or less, until 6:00 am.

I did have a pleasant surprise when I logged onto my computer in the morning, because I had a call from Erika on Skype. I could see the whole family, but not hear them, and they could hear me but couldn't see me! They hooked up Joseph’s netbook and that solved the microphone problem on their end. I wasn’t able to get my camera working, maybe tomorrow it will work. It was great to see everyone!

I hurried to the restaurant and gobbled down some breakfast. We hurried down to the lobby and watched and waited. I kept watching for the taxi but it didn’t come. After about 15 minutes I made some phone calls and found out that the staff was just barely arranging for the taxi. I was tired, stressed and very frustrated. We waited for almost an hour, still no taxi. I made some more phone calls and found out that the taxi had gone to fuel up and was told that it would be there in 20 minutes. Half an hour later I called again and was told that there had been an accident on the road, and in driving through it the driver who was following our employee got lost. They were hoping that he would just come to the hotel but he didn’t ever make it. So the staff finally gave up and contracted with another driver and brought him to the hotel. We were two and a half hours late leaving. The staff apologized profusely as we headed out. I told them thank you and that it would work out.

We finally arrived at Debre Zeyit two and a half hours late. Jeilu was there to greet us and we got started checking cows. Dr. Tamrat came shortly after and helped me with the palpation. These animals were in much better condition than the ones at Adami Tulu in August. I did find one open cow that hadn't been bred according to them. Later when they checked their records they found that she had been bred 60 days ago. I evaluated their equipment and set up with them to start everything on Wednesday. I couldn’t believe how the stress melted away as I was working. I was very grateful for this relief. We bade them goodbye and headed out for our next appointment: Holeta.

Our taxi driver got lost on the way to Holeta, so we were just as late getting there as we had been earlier even though we did the work quickly and made up about half an hour. Luckily, they were well prepared for us. We checked five donor cows and 25 recipient cows and heifers. Almost all of the animals were in good condition and cycling reproductively. This was wonderful news. When we were almost done it started raining on us. Haven, Mark and I just kept going while most of the staff headed for shelter. The rest of us joined them a few minutes later when it came down hard. Luckily, it only rained hard for a few minutes. I was very excited with how everything went. I think that we will have much better success with our numbers this time around.

We arrived home late, but feeling much better. We ate at the hotel buffet which is the Ethiopian attempt to make American gourmet food. They actually do a pretty good job. Especially when you consider that they have different tastes and probably think that what they are making is not very good. They usually have tilapia, chicken, and beef for the meat cooked in their spices, and on the side they have potatoes, rice, and pasta. They also make some interesting salads and desserts. The fruit juice is what I like the best. I usually order a “sprise”, which is a mixture of all of the juices that they have.

I was able to Skype with part of my family tonight. The connection was very poor so we kept getting disconnected, but it was still fun to see and talk to them. I am looking forward to a good night’s sleep tonight!

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