Working at Kokosa and meeting with Wando Genet University representatives

August 2nd, 2010 Shashamene-Kokosa

My modem ran out of minutes yesterday so I couldn’t Skype with my computer.  Erika called my Ethiopian phone using the Skype number so we were able to have scripture study and prayer.  I also had a nice long planning discussion with Erika.

Breakfast came fast this morning probably because I was the only one.  I was really excited when they brought fresh juice.  It is on the menu but not always available.  Sometimes it is best to ask what they have before you order so you don’t have to change your order several times.

Abera had to run a bunch of errands so he didn’t pick me up until 10:00 that gave me several hours to read Getting Things Done by David Allen.  I am really enjoying his ideas on working productively.

We drove up to Kokosa and found the road very muddy.  Abera let me drive the last half of the way in.  It was slick in several spots but we made it in with only one problem.  Just as I was getting to the gate I hit a big mud puddle with a big rock in the middle of it.  It knocked our motor guard off.  It didn’t look like this was the first hit that it had taken but it was the one that knocked it off.  We will have to find a good mechanic shop to fix it.

We gathered up the cows and ran them through the chute.  We bred five that had come into heat, pregnancy checked a couple and gave PGF shots to all that were not pregnant and had not been bred.  I worked with Abera a little on pregnancy diagnosis.  That is the one area that they don’t feel that they can do without me.  I recommended that they hire one of the breeders in Arsi Negeli that can do pregnancy diagnosis to help them.

We are going to let Mekonen borrow the tractor and plow to do the school farm.  His harvest was late so he doesn’t have time to plow all of the fields by ox team.  The arm for the three point hitch was missing so they drove the tractor by itself and we loaded the plow into the pickup.  I didn’t think we would be able to do it but Abera wouldn’t take no for an answer and got it loaded.  Fortunately the road had dried out during the day so we were able to drive out without any problems.The tractor was stopped on the side of the road near the Djibuti farm half way to Shashamene.  We stopped to see if we could help but they assured us they could handle it so we drove on.  

Newly constructed hay sheds at Wando Genet University for the dairy cow hay.

We arrived at the Lilly Valley Hotel at 6:30 and met with the group from Wando Genet University.  We talked about embryo transfer and I gave them Dr. Tamrat’s number to call.  I also reviewed with them my analysis of the dairy and encouraged them to space their milking time out at equal intervals.

I feel good about this trip. I think that we have the personnel in place to keep the Kokosa project going and I am seeing a new vision in them.  They are thinking of new ways to improve the productivity of the land and the animals.  I am very excited about their initiative.  I don’t necessarily want them to do everything my way I want them to envision the main goal and use their own ideas to determine the best way to achieve it so that they will still work when I am not around.  Abera is definitely there and some of the others are not far behind him.