Designing a Goat Milking Program

I didn’t sleep well last night. I just couldn’t drift off to sleep then I awoke easily when I did sleep.  Any little sound seemed amplified. I am not sure if it had anything to do with the mefloquin or if it was a jet lag issue. When I woke up at 7:00 I felt ok but not well rested. Everyone else was up and going so I hurried to shower and get going.

I spent most of the day designing the goat plans with Patrick and Edison. We are designing one smaller elevated pen between the KCC and the dispensary. We will have about five goats in it that will produce milk for the mothers that have aids and can’t nurse their babies or the babies that have lost their mothers. We are using all local materials to build the pen so that the villagers will see that they can do the same thing.

The other pen will be larger and hold about 100 goats. These goats we will use to start projects at schools. The plan is to have them build facilities at the school in preparation for the goats. We will then lend them the goats until they can pay us back with the offspring of the goats that we lend to them. We can purchase these goats for about $100. It would be cost prohibitive for the schools to buy 5 to 10 goats to start out with but with our program they could get started and within a few years have enough milk that each child could get the equivalent of a glass of milk each week. The extra milk, even though a small amount, would really help their nutritional level.

Today Mark killed a guinea hen for Emily to put in our meal tonight. In order for the Muslims to eat it he was trying to do it as Johnson instructed him. Unfortunately the knife was dull so he could not finish it in the one quick cut as was required. The bird died quickly but the exact procedure was not followed so it wasn’t a valid killing.

This evening I drove with Anthony (Yama) and Chikaya over past Bofu to look at some land that the farmer wanted to sell. He is an older farmer and wants to buy a young wife. Most wives are negotiated for by their uncle and are exchanged for cows. The land was in a nice pocket in a rolling valley. We walked around the 3.5 arces which was overgrown with grass. It had many coconut, banana, papaya, and cashew trees. The only problem with the land was that it was hard to get there.

Tonight at dinner we talked with Yama about attending your child’s birth, there were five babies born at the clinic today. Here in Kenya a man is never allowed or would not even consider attending their child’s birth. We told him of how wonderful it was to be there and hold the baby when it was first born and to feel appreciation for your wife’s sacrifice. He said that here the women fear that if the man sees the baby born he will not want to participate in having more children. It is a very interesting idea.

The crew digging on the dam has been at it two days now. Everyone says that if we would have had women digging it we would be done by now. When I arrived about four of twelve were working. One area they had given up on because the clay was very firm.  I jumped in and started picking with the point of the pick. They had been using the flat side which didn’t penetrate the clay very far. The tip sunk in about eight inches and the clay broke out in big chunks. One of the workers started throwing out the chunks by hand. I moved over to the river bed and took a shovel from a guy that was just leaning on it and started digging using my boot to force the shovel down deep into the damp soil. Each time I threw a full shovel full of dirt. I only lasted about half an hour before heat, humidity, and being out of shape did me in. When I left Shad was working with them and most of them were working again. We made a lot of progress in that half an hour.