Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Embryo Transfer Calves and Alfalfa

Teddy picked me up just after 6:00 this morning. He loaded my five bags into the car while I was packing up my computer.  I was trying to download emails but the internet was so slow that none of them came through even after 45 minutes of being connected.  
It had rained heavily during the night and was still drizzling. I noticed a small towel on my seat when I climbed in the car and soon realized why it was there as the drops came down from the top of the windshield onto my lap.  I spent the next hour either wiping the drips off before they fell or feeling them hit my legs.  My sleep had been restless the night before so I was very close to sleeping in the car on the drive but forced myself to stay awake so my body will learn the difference between night and day.

Abera met us at ATARC and I sent Teddy back to Addis.  I really like riding with him.  He asked when Erika was going to come over so that he could meet her. I told him maybe next spring.

Holstein X Jersey heifer calves born to Boran cows. Utah genetics in Ethiopia.

The crew at ATARC was ready and waiting for us. We quickly ran the cows through checking them one at a time.  My worst fears were confirmed, not one of the 24 embryos recipients was pregnant.  Tomorrow I will check the ones in Kokosa. On the bright side all five of our calves from the first implantation are doing fine.  They were all born without assistance even though their surrogate mothers and half the weight of their genetic mothers. They are now 2 months old so I dehorned them.  

Alfalfa growing at the MAI test plot in Kersa Illala, Ethiopia

Abera and I checked on the alfalfa at the school farm. The magnum is doing well but the other varieties are struggling.  We stopped at the VOH to check on the milk cow and say hello to Mambrat and the children.  They will all be going to homes soon and the VOH will be closed for good. Everyone was sad.

Abera and I spent the afternoon going over performance appraisals.  We have some good ideas for going forward with our team.  I was happy to go over Abera’s with him.  It is nice to spend most of your time pointing out all the good that the employees accomplishes and not have much correction to do.  When we finished I asked him if he had any comments or questions and he said that he enjoyed working with me.  He said that he has worked with many "Farenge" and has learned a lot from them but that I teach differently more like a father would teach his son.  He said he was grateful that I not only taught him that way but all the others that we associated with.  I appreciated such a sincere complement.  I told him that I felt that now was the time that the Lord wanted to bless the Ethiopian people and that He only waited for them to reach out to accept it.  I told him that he was one that was reaching out and the Lord would bless him and his family.

This evening I was finally able to get a good enough internet connection to Skype with Erika.  It was so good to talk with her even though much of our conversation centered around challenges that we would have to deal with.  She is a great companion!

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