Friday, January 15, 2010

Embryo Transfer Meeting with Educators & Leaders

I had a good night’s sleep again last night so maybe I’m over my jet lag now. I was able to Skype with Erika for a while this morning. I sure do love her!

I couldn’t wait for Worknesh to arrive and I wasn’t comfortable driving in Addis yet, so I had Damas flag a taxi down for me.  When he dropped me off, we haggled over the price for a while and I ended up giving him 40 birr($3.17).  Later I asked Teddy what a fair price was for that trip. He said around 50 birr so my 40 was closer than the 100 that he had originally asked for.

Mr. Seyoum and Dr. Aster were waiting for me, but Dr. Tamrat had not yet arrived.  I had just sat down when he came in.  They were caught in the same traffic that I was. We reviewed the progress of the embryo transfer, and talked about the mineral situation with the animals.  I am fairly confident that if we increase the mineral supplements, we will get a much better reproductive response from them.  This seems to be the main difference between those that responded and those that didn’t.

We had a good discussion about the future of ET in Ethiopia.  The five year plan specifies for them to produce 10 calves each year from embryo transfer.  I almost laughed at how low that number was.  Seyoum quickly added that he realized the number wasn’t very high, but that if they set a goal and didn’t reach it, they really got in trouble so they set very reachable goals.  We planned out the next flushing for the first week of February. I also proposed that MAI provide the flushing supplies in exchange for us using their animals as recipients.  They agreed with this, so I need to have Paul approve the concept, then write up the agreement.  I felt very good with what we accomplished in the meeting.

Dr. Tamrat needed a ride to Debre Zeit and I needed a ride to the office, so his driver took us to the office, and we drove Dr. Tamrat back to Debre Zeit.  I asked Dr. Tamrat about the history of Ethiopia, and how the government has worked over the years. It is really fascinating to hear how Ethiopia has developed, and it helps me to better understand why the society functions the way that it does. Ethiopia is a very interesting country with a rich history.

We stopped at Abera’s home in Kersa Illala to drop off the jeans that Erika had sent for Tgist. No one was home, so we just left them on the chair. We drove over to the VOH where I checked the cow for pregnancy. She wasn’t pregnant, and her milk production has really dropped off. Her body condition is good, so I think that the problem has to do with the quality and consistency of the milking routine. I walked around the compound and looked at the gardens, orchards, and water meters and said hello to Mumbrat and the children. With Makonen’s group doing gardens, the children have really worked hard on theirs to have them looking as good as the farms.  It is exciting to see them working so hard and having such good results. I gave a birr to the one whose garden yielded the best. The main water meter is not working at all, but I found another water meter over by the main building that is working, so I will have Musafet start recording it.

We checked in at the Lilly Valley hotel, and were just getting settled when Makonen and Evan stopped in. Makonen invited us to his home for dinner. I thought that it would be a good opportunity for Joseph to see an Ethiopian home, so we accepted.  They brought us injera with key wot and sura wot to start with.  They also brought out a dish that looked like oatmeal, but tasted the way eucalyptus smells.  We didn’t like it very much, Ethiopians have very different tastes than Americans and it is hard to get used to all of the different spices. We ate quickly because I had a meeting with Abera. On our way out, Makonen showed us his dairy cow that had calved, and the other one that was getting close to calving.  He was very proud of them.

We were late getting back, so I missed my meeting with Abera. Since Joseph was still hungry, we had a second dinner with Evan at the Lilly Valley restaurant. Before going around today, I rubbed mosquito repellent on my legs to keep the bugs off.  So far it appears to have worked well.  I do not miss the itchy legs like I had the last two trips.

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