Breeding the Cows-Training the Staff
July 29th, 2010 Kokosa
This morning I shivered awake at 5:30. I had rolled around during the night and kicked my blankets off. The temperature was about 10 Celsius (50 Fahrenheit). It was extremely foggy outside but as the sun came out it burned off. I started weeding the garden until Mulgeta came out. Abera has his beehive set up near the garden. I am pleased that he is taking initiative to try new ventures.
|A typical beehive in rural Ethiopia with a piece of tin over it to keep off some of the rain.
We went back to the house for breakfast. I had a peanut butter and banana sandwich while they had ingera. Abera was a little late getting in so he missed out on the ingera and had to eat some bread. He took pictures of the other four finishing off the last of the ingera.
We collected nine liters of milk last night and eleven liters this morning. Most of the cows are giving two to three liters a day and feeding their calves. I am working with the management to think through their options and sell the milk or products for the best possible return. Last night Gemechu went to Arufta , a nearby village, to see if they wanted to buy milk from us and at what price. He wrote up a little report with his recommendations at the end.
Abera met with the staff for a couple of hours to handle daily work issues. When he finished I talked with them about where we have come this year and where we are headed in the future. I asked them how their life had changed since MAI came, for good or for bad. They talked about how positive it was for them. They now had jobs but more importantly they had learned a great deal. They didn’t believe us when we talked about embryo transfer or even artificial insemination. Now that they have seen calves born they believe. One comment especially caught my attention. One of our guards said that we were preparing their minds for the truth. That had deeper meaning for me than he thought. I wanted to keep it brief because Abera had talked with them for two hours already but they had a lot of questions and comments so we kept talking for almost two hours. I challenged them to do something in the next year to make themselves better. I also challenged them to make enough profit over the next four years to pay Paul back his investment. They were nodding their heads and smiling so I took that as a good sign. Finally Mulgeta held up a sign that said lunch so I ended the meeting.
|The team having a quick bite after working hard. It is typical for everyone to each from the serving dishes. The faster you eat the more that you get.
|Part of our plowing crew. They are thrilled to have the opportunity to earn the 15 ETB/day so that they have money to buy their school books and supplies.
We bred eight more cows this evening. I would have expected more to come into heat by now. I hope that we have a lot in heat tomorrow. We will give everything that doesn’t come into heat another PGF shot on Monday.
The cellular network was down today so I wouldn’t have been able to talk to Erika and the family if they had called. I hope that it is back up tomorrow. It makes communication difficult when it is down.