Mekonen's Cows and Arsi Negeli Dairymen Presentation

Apr. 17th, 2010

I slept in a little this morning after such a hard day yesterday.  I was quite sore in my arms, shoulders, back and legs but I felt good after accomplishing so much.  I had a nice leisurely breakfast out on the veranda with the sun shining and the birds singing.  I thought that it would be wonderful if Erika were with me.
Mekonen's cows on an earlier trip with Dr. Kolste
 Mekonen came to get me at 8:30 to check his cows and dehorn his calves.  I was very surprised that neither of his cows had come into heat.  I am not sure why they didn’t unless they are both not cycling.  Even though we didn’t have time he insisted that we go to his father-in-laws home where they fed me goat tibs and hot milk.  The milk was very good.  Abera joined us and helped me finish off my tibs.

We met Mulgeta and Gemechu at the Arsi Negele office.  A couple of the dairymen had arrived already and the other two showed up as we were setting up.  Mulgeta introduced me and translated for me as I explained to them what embryo transfer was and how it could be a very good business opportunity for them.  I also encouraged them to work together as a group to improve their herds and the dairy industry in general in the Arsi Negele area.  I encouraged them to lead out and help develop the programs that would push the industry forward.  I said that I was planting a seed that I hoped would be nurtured by them and grow into a large fruitful tree.  What I was talking about could not be done at this time but the preparations for it could be started now so that we could do it in a year or two.  I told them that too many of the development projects in Ethiopia were brought in by foreigners.  It was like them transplanting a mature tree for the Ethiopians and then leaving them to deal with it without teaching them how to care for the tree which quickly withered and died leaving a monument to failure.

When we finished I had them do the jerky taste test for me.  I think that everyone of them preferred the sliced meat with the Leggs jerky spice.  I am finding that Ethiopians as a whole really like eating jerky with any kind of spice.

This afternoon I went over the records and got them all caught up.  We have 13 embryos left to implant. I hope that we can implant them this week at Adami Tulu.  I would love to have all of the embryos implanted before I go home this trip.

I had the wonderful green salad and some fried fish for super tonight.  The fish was very dry but had a good flavor.  This trip I have had a large variety of meals here at the Lily Valley.  On my past trips I have mainly eaten the rice with meat sauce.

Real Thomas Jefferson - by Allison, Maxfield, Cook, SkousenI have really enjoyed reading Thomas Jefferson’s biography this trip. When I go to the restaurant I take it with me and read while I am waiting for my food to be prepared.  He was an amazing man.  I find it interesting that he like Benjamin Franklin and George Washington really didn’t want to serve in the positions that they did.  They would have been much happier to be at home taking care of their personal business.  In fact all of their estates suffered because they were away serving their country.  I am sure that in the end they were much happier because they had served and achieved tremendous results.  Their example helps keep me going as I work here under difficult circumstances.  I would definitely prefer to be home with my family but I believe that when all is said and done I will be very grateful that I had this opportunity to serve the Lord and the Ethiopian people in this way.  Each day I pray that the Lord will magnify my efforts for the good of the people and of the company. I am so grateful that I have a wonderful wife that can so effectively manage the challenges at home.  She is an incredible lady!