Saturday, January 30, 2010

Working with Friends

I’m in Shashamene now, staying at the Lilly Valley hotel, which has clean and comfortable rooms, a luxury here in Ethiopia. My back misses my own bed at home though! I had breakfast with Evan: omelets, pineapple juice and hot milk for 45 birr ($3.56).

Makonen called and asked me to come look at his milk cows, so Evan and I drove over to see them.  The cow that just calved had some edema (swelling) under her belly.  The veterinarian told him to drain it out by lancing it or sucking it out with a needle.  I told him to just leave it alone. 30 years ago in the US, vets used to drain excessive edema, but they have learned that the cow will take care of it herself, and that trying to fix it often causes additional problems.  His other cows and calves are looking very good.  He wants me to artificially inseminate them when I come back in March.

At 2pm, we met Abera at the Shalom Juice Bar.  We each had a juice and a piece of cake for 42 birr ($3.33) for all three of us.  The juice is so good. I wish we had a good juice bar in Genola. This afternoon I borrowed Sherlock Holmes from Evan and watched it.  It is nice to get a little break from reality to give my mind a rest.  All day and much of the night I am analyzing our project here and trying to think of the best way to move forward.

I asked Abera about his family.  His father is a retired farmer and he has 15 siblings, most of which are farmers. He has one brother that is a successful government leader and one brother that is a teacher.  He said that from the time he was very small, his father prayed that he would be successful.  Abera has worked hard his whole life in many different occupations including farmer, laborer, painter, and cattle manager. He is currently taking classes on the weekend so that he can be better prepared for life.  He is a great man, and a jewel among Ethiopians. I love working with him.

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