Jessica and I continue to be very busy. There never seems to be enough hours in the day to complete all of our work. This past week we continued with our monitoring of the beneficiaries of the new and old groups and started looking for goats to sell. We also purchased locks as incentives for people to have well built goat pens (only those that meet the standards will receive a lock). However, to those people that are trying hard to build pens but are struggling, we will provide them with nails to help give them a start. The one problem we have found is that some widows keep their goats in their house for fear of theft, since they have no defense. The goats are more protected but we will need to come up with a better solution so that the goats are not sharing the same living space as the people!
Many of the more established parishes are doing quiet well. Many women have made businesses out of their goats and are prospering! However, we have come across many problems with disease such as sudden death, diarrhea and abortions in the goats. We are trying hard to deal with these problems which will required mass vaccination, further education and training and improvements in management and husbandry of these goats. We are also doing further blood tests on the goats and trying to get a brucella vaccine into the country which will be quite a challenge.
This past Friday was a national holiday (Martyr Day) so after a 1/2 day of work, we escaped to a hotspot in Uganda -Lake Bunyoni. We did use public transit which is always an adventure in itself. However, it was well worth it once we reached the lake. We had a very relaxing 2 days swimming in the lake, hiking and canoeing out of hand carved trees (also called the muzungu corkscrew because the whites seems to go around in circles rather than row straight because the canoes and paddles are very different). We also visited a nearby orphanage to meet the children and spend some time with them.
I am glad we had a relaxing weekend after Mondays fiasco! Tugume Anthony is an 8 year old boy suffering from a bone infection in his right leg. When my sister Leanne was here in 2008 she helped him gain access to medical treatment (he was one of the beneficiaries children). Tugume has had many surgeries and 3 years later, he is still suffering intermittently with much pain, fever and swelling of his leg. He was on antibiotics this past weekend with no improvement so Jess and I took him for a recheck. We had to go to the hospital and then to the diagnostic center for a radiograph. Everything was going smoothly until the drive back. We had to be parked on an inclining hill when the car lost function of all of the breaks (including the emerg break). The car was put in reverse and I was unable to gain control as it was rolling backwards. We hit a motorcycle (but fortunately no one was on it) and I managed to gain control before we rolled/smucked into the medical center. It was a very scary moment for all of us, including Tugume and his mother but fortunately no one was hurt! We had breaks one moment and then NONE the next! Fortunately the mechanic was near buy and he came to us, picked up the car and replaced all of the breaks, checked the breaklines etc within the same day! We used bodas and taxis to get Tugume and his mother home safely. I sure hope we never have to experience that again! Here’s hoping the rest of the weeks runs smoothly.
Laura and Jessica