Feedlot Tour at Nazaret
Today Haven, Mark and I went to an appointment at a private feed lot by Nazaret and met Seyoum, a very successful entrepreneur, who left his secure government job to create a cattle sales business. He started seven years ago with a few bulls, and now has 350 in his feedlot. This is the second feed lot that he has built, and he has plans for several more, plus a dairy and a center for sheep and goats. He has a very good understanding of running a business in Ethiopia and dealing with the export market. He also understands how to take advice from experts and has learned the value of feeding cattle properly. Seyoum has involved experts from the animal health and nutrition fields in his business, and takes good care of his animals. He is a great example of what an entrepreneurial Ethiopian can accomplish when they have the initiative and resources. He will be a good contact for us as we go through the process of establishing our cattle businesses.
After our tour of the feedlot, Seyoum invited us to lunch in Nazaret at the Rift Valley Hotel. I rode to the restaurant with Seyoum and we talked about Ethiopia and her people. He said that the big problem with the people near the cities in Ethiopia is that they have it too easy. I was shocked at this statement, and listened with interest to his explanation. He said that they don't have to fight for their lives, but they don't have the initiative to really succeed, so they just coast along through life, just barely getting by. I think that if we can help people feel the joy of work and taste the fruits of hard work they will change in the same way that Seyoum has changed and succeeded. If the people can change, then the country will change also. Ethiopia is very rich in resources, and it just needs the people to take advantage of and care for all of these resources. I think that Seyoum will be a very valuable information resource for us. I was excited to hear that his two sons are studying to be engineers at the university in Addis. If they are anything like their father, they will be successful in life.
When we returned to the Addis Office, Haven and Mark went to a supermarket to see how meat was handled and sold here. In general, most of the meat is sold fresh in small butcher shops along the road. You simply request the amount that you want to purchase, and they cut if from the carcass hanging along the wall. They don't really distinguish between different cuts of meat. I guess it is all equally tough. lol. The supermarket has the meat deboned but not in packages or specific cuts. They have a grinder to grind the meat into hamburger, which is rare here in Ethiopia.
I spent the afternoon and evening reading emails, catching up on facebook, fixing my webcam, and writing in my journal. Everybody else gathered to watch a movie that I had seen before so I went down to the bedroom to read. I am trying to finish Mark's book before he leaves. It is a very good book, and at the end, the author makes a plea that we watch less television and read more books, stating that the books we read can change our likes. I agree 100%.