Visit to Slaughter Facility & Wando Ganet Dairy

Today I started the morning with a good family home evening with my family on Skype. They were watching the last of a documentary on the Berlin wall coming down. It is fun to see and visit with them. I really miss them! I hope that I can get my camera fixed soon, so that they can see me too. {*note from Erika: me too!}

After breakfast, Haven, Mark and I went to a slaughter facility in Shashemene. It is a very simple concrete building with chain hoists to lift the carcasses. There is one facility for the Christian slaughtered animals, and another for the Muslim animals. They do not store the meat or cut it into smaller sizes. The side of beef is delivered to the local butcher shops, who cut it up per customer order. The hides are scraped and stretched using ropes in a nearby shed. The leftovers are taken out back where the buzzards and hyenas clean up the meat and everything else is burned or spread through the grass. {*Note from Erika...yuck! Just a bit different than the "cleaned up" meat we purchase at the grocery store!}

We also visited the University dairy in Wando Ganet. We made it past the guard without too much begging and pleading this time. He did have to walk back to the station before he came back to let us through. We were just approaching the dairy when we had the good fortune of finding Girma walking on the road. He showed us around the dairy with the new veterinarian that is now on staff. She started about a month ago. They were especially proud of their dipping vat, which is a long narrow swimming pool for cows to swim through. They water has insecticide in it, meant to kill the ticks and fleas that plague untreated animals here. We asked about some new cut lumber that they had on their fences and found out that there is a sawmill on campus. It was a simple sawmill, but it made nice boards made from the nearby trees instead of splintered wood like many of the posts are.

We asked Girma about Elfora Agro Industries. He volunteered to take us down to the south end of the valley where they were located. Unfortunately the guard would not let us in. He told us that we would have to go to Awasa to get permission so we headed that way. In Awasa, we first found their downtown office, but were told we had to go to the farm office. The manager was out to lunch, so we decided to go to the Lewi hotel for lunch while we were waiting. We ordered the tenderloin with mashed potatoes but were very disappointed because we received a round steak and potatoes the consistency of play-dough. On the bright side, I ordered an Esprice fruit drink that was incredible. When we arrived back at the office, the guard informed us that the manager and his staff had headed for Shashemene. These kinds of situations are not uncommon, and make it sometimes very frustrating to try and do business here in Ethiopia.

I thought it would be good for us to visit the dairy at the SOS children's orphanage. They have improved genetics and feed their cows better than the average Ethiopian. Their milk production is higher than the Ethiopian average, at 8-10 liters/cow/day. I was encouraged to hear that they are planning on re-opening their processing facility next year. I hated to see all of that equipment just sitting there without anybody using it.

This evening we had a discussion about the Kokosa property's future. We had a lot of good ideas that I have recorded in another document. There are so many ways that we could go with that property. I will have to refine our ideas into a business plan.

I continue to have problems with insect bites and itchy legs. I haven't had as many lately, but I still get a couple bites each night. I sprayed insecticide in my suitcases and on my blanket to see if I could eliminate them, which seems to have helped. It is one of those annoying aspects of working here in Ethiopia and living in numerous hotels.

{note from Erika: Okay, I'll quit whining about the flies in!}