Friday, October 24, 2008

Through the river and through the woods

…to buck stations in Busunga we went!

Heidi and I discussed and agreed that “Over the River” sounds better. The bridge over the Lamia River has been gone for quite some time. Lamech walks his motorcycle across, but I have to dismount and wade in the water. There are dozens of helpful young men standing around shouting “Madame! Madame, let me carry you!” How exactly are they proposing to manage that? Throw me over their shoulder? No thanks! All the other women are carrying bundles of firewood on their heads and backs and they seem to manage well. Besides, the water is only half a meter deep, so my title remains “through the river…”

But I digress.

Lamech and I spent the afternoon visiting some buck keepers in Busunga. These volunteers house high-grade male goats and keep a record of the local goats that are brought to mate. The buck keepers also follow up on all of the offspring so Lamech can tag them the next time he visits. All of the baby goats receive Lamech’s veterinary treatment when needed, and so we were often flagged down to de-worm a “nearby” goat. “It’s not far far, just there,” says the buck keeper, gesticulating to a hut in the distance.

It was so encouraging to see Lamech’s dedication in visiting not only the 300+ female goats the Matiti project distributes, but also all of the offspring of local goats and the high-grade bucks. Four times a year, every goat is de-wormed and receives the proper vaccinations. Anytime a goat is sick, the recipient goes to their local buck-keeper to call Lamech for assistance. Looking at the buck keeper’s records, it’s easy to see how the numbers of higher-grade dairy goats are increases.

We visited one woman who was the recipient of a Matiti goat. Smiling toothlessly, she showed us her personal records of how much milk her goat was producing daily, and her smiling child, the glad recipient of said milk.

I unfortunately forgot to bring my camera along, but I shan’t make that mistake next time.

1 comment:

Karen said...

Sounds like a great visit! I'm glad your able to see what's going on out in the villages. Thanks for jumping in!