Lost, Pulled Over, Locked Out & Left Alone

The Chinese food that I had last night didn’t set very well with me.  I had Pepto bismal pills for breakfast before heading out with Abera for Debre Zeit. At the AKF feed processing plant we talked our way past the guards then met with Santosh the Asst. General Manager of the plant.  {Erika here: Lonny, let us know what AKF is?} It sounds like they can get us a good concentrate mix with the vitamin/mineral formulation from Holland.  This should be a good formulation for our animals.  The part I like best is that the price is comparable to the local concentrate that we could get around here.

I called Arnold with Alfa Feeds and asked if we could meet with him and see his operation.  He gave me directions, but we missed the first turn and ended up getting very lost.  After calling him a couple more times, we finally met him on the road and followed him to their farm.  Arnold and his colleague, Peter, have set up a nice farm on one of the small lakes around Debre Zeit, and they are growing corn for silage. They seem to be doing quite well. They received a grant from the Dutch government for half of the investment, and they are paying for the other half themselves.  It is good to have another contact in the country that understands modern farm practices.

Arnold told us about a dairy cooperative, possibly funded by a Dutch Christian group, that is buying milk from the local farmers. Abera and I drove over to see them, but the manager was not around, so we will go back and visit with them another time.  Arnold said that the cooperative had mentioned some difficulties with the quality of milk that the local farmers bring in.  I would like to know what those challenges were and how they overcame them.

Back in Addis, Abera took me to the airport workers cafeteria, which is close to our office.  He ordered a green salad with tuna for me and had ingera himself.  The salad was very good and I had no ill effects from eating it. The whole meal including drinks cost 56 birr($4.45) not bad for two people.

We drove over to the hotel to have Wally sign our checks, then headed to the bank to cash them.  I thought that I knew the way, and so did Abera, but we missed the last turn anyway and got lost again!  After asking directions several times, we finally found our way back.

I dropped Abera off at the office, then went to “Where Love Is” to pick up Lloyd, Evan, and Joseph.  They had done a good job of putting a garden together in the south corner of the compound, and had also built a fence around it and made rock walkways through it.  The boys were so excited that when the were waiting for their turn on the main garden, they went to the north side of the compound and made another garden!  There wasn’t a lot of good soil on that side, so they went outside the wall and dug some from the side of the road.  It is exciting to see them getting motivated about working and doing things.

We said our goodbyes, then piled into the truck to head back to the house. Just as we were pulling off the Ring Road a police officer waved us over.  He said that we have four people riding in the cab of the pickup, but fortunately he just let me go with a warning.

That evening we walked to the Italian restaurant and had a pretty good meal.  I had ravioli which was made with the local cheese.  The sour flavor was just too strong for my liking.  I should have gone with the lasagna, which Joseph said was very good.

On our way back to the house, I received a call from Fasil who is an acquaintance of Bob Albreicht, a friend of my former co-worker, Karl Ritchie. Fasil has a feed processing facility in Addis, and a dairy also.  I asked if I could meet with him, and he agreed, so I will go see his place next week.

At 11:30pm I went out to get the truck to take Joseph, Lloyd and Evan to the airport to catch their late flight.  The gate was padlocked shut, so I went and knocked on the guard house but didn’t get any response.  I was getting worried, so I went in and told Lloyd they would have to stay another week.  :)  Luckily, a little while later, when I knocked again on the guardhouse door, I was finally able to wake the guard and get the truck.

I felt melancholy as I dropped them off at the airport and drove back to the house. I have a lot to do here before this trip is over, but I am envious that Joseph will get to see the family by the end of the day.  I am so glad that Joseph came with me. He is a great young man and a real friend.  I will miss having him around.