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Thursday, March 5, 2009


Well, this is something more like what my brother should be doing than me, but here I am in Africa learning about animals! Who would ever have imagined I would be doing research and learning about goats!
This is our first goat. Her name is Faith. (I didn't name her.) She is an Alpine goat and she is expecting twins or triplets. It's not determined if she will go to Flomina or to Haven. It depends on where we are able to get a proper goat house built.

Speaking of proper goat houses, here are some things I've learned. In order for this breed (and maybe others, I don't know) to produce the best quality of milk, the houses should be elevated about two feet about the ground. Their milk quality, and even the taste, is better if the goats are not walking around in their own manure. Keeping them off the ground also reduces risk of diseases that can be contracted from bacteria on the ground.

We also want to build our goat houses to where they can be easily divided and goats can be separated.

Regarding their productivity, Alpine goats can produce 1 - 1 1/2 liters of milk per day, where a cow produces about 3 liters per day. Though a cow produces twice as much as a goat, it eats about ten times as much food each day.

Most Kenyans are not keen on the idea of goats. They want cows. It's a sign of wealth and prestige. We are usually fighting an uphill battle to get them to realize the value of dairy goats and the difference between these goats and the millions of random field goats that walk around all over the place. Most of our workers at Haven and Flomina are always pushing us to buy cows. It will be a huge feat when we actually help them realize the value of goats!

I have also learned a lot about breeding. I won't go into it, but it's more than I ever thought I would need to know. I feel like the conversations I've had with the goat lady are really conversations my brother should be having with his horse and cow friends.

Here are our other goats....and the goat lady.

The goat the lady is touching is our little buck. The one on the right is our female who can be bred in the next few months.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Flomina Childrens Home

Flomina continues to face hard times. There are a number of issues they are facing, including overcrowded dorms, unsanitary living conditions, and poor education. We are working with them to try to improve these issues and better the quality of life for these children.

Here are some pictures from the past few weeks...
The kitchen was torn down in order to move it to the corner of the lot to create more
space for the shamba (garden). The older boys got to help with the demolition and absolutely loved it!

The silver and green structure in the background is the current dorm building where 50+ children sleep.

Sammy, the manager of Flomina, planted donated seeds in a nursery so that they can later plant in the shamba. They have to be very resourceful with the materials they have. They did not have mulch or hay to cover the dirt and hold in moisture so they used old clothes.

I took materials for us to make thank-you cards for some of the kids' supporters. They had a great time making them. Even the older boys got into it and really enjoyed it!

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