Monday, November 17, 2008

Watch Your Step!

As we begin a new week and I reflect on last week, I am convinced that by far the newest and most interesting experience had to do with sending the cows home. You may remember that one of the many projects toward self help and sustainable development has to do with cows, chickens and seeds. Well, after much planning and changing of plans and selecting of new settings for seven cows, all came together on Friday afternoon. We trooped out to a rural spot where the seven recipients and some spouses were waiting along with lengths of rope and one very large truck. We rolled up our pant legs for obvious reasons and went to look at the cows, all of which have been declared pregnant! The folks began to choose their cows and I was walking around in my trusty Keen sandals which have tractor treads on the bottom. Well, tractor treads work well in rain and mud, but with a large cow paddock, they just fill up with manure! These are really terrific shoes and I am most grateful to a dear friend who insisted that I needed a pair and gave them to me as a gift. They are water resistant, supportive and give great traction.

At any rate I was equipped with my dandy digital camera “attempting” to take photos of each cow and new owner. I more or less succeeded. I kept being warned not to get too close because despite the reports of contented cows, that seems to be a myth. Someone had failed to orient the cows as to the reality of the next phase of their life. For the most part they had no intentions of changing residence and made that clear. One in particular was REALLY resistant and presented a great challenge.

Eventually, after much pushing, pulling, prodding, coaxing, threatening, etc. they managed to get her into the truck with two other ‘transfers’. Some cows were being walked to their new homes since they were only five or six kilometers from home base. Needless to say, I was grateful that the water was still on when I returned home. First the shoes were scrubbed and brushed and ‘dug out’. And then the wearer of the shoes was scrubbed! Thanks to the generosity of friends of the sandal wearer, three of the cows were financed in addition to the four which were part of another project.

I’m getting ready to fly north for a month and mentally trying to imagine COLD!! It sounds terrific right now but I have a feeling that it will be a different story when I’m in it. Anyway, I’m making a list of “things to bring back” and you’d laugh at some of the items: can opener, sink strainers, Teddy Grahams, sturdy shower caps, etc.!! I will be gone from Nicaragua between December 8th and January 11th. I will blog if I have a chance. If you don’t hear from me, it might be that my fingers are frozen and can’t type! However, I will welcome the change from HOT!!

Thanks for your interest and support. Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the States. I’m very aware that I’m in another country and that this special day is only for folks who are citizens of the United States.

Pray for this country. We just completed elections for the mayors of each municipality and there was obvious fraud involved. This is causing many problems and who knows how it will be resolved.

Love and gratitude, your sister, Jeanne


Rudee said...

I'm so glad the Keens are coming in handy! I had a feeling they would. I'm so excited about your cow project and I'm hopeful the recipients are blessed with healthy calves. I believe this kind of community supported agriculture is the best way to give a person a step up in life.

Anonymous said...

Jeanne, since you didn't include any camera pics of YOU & your cow adventure, I did a marvelous job imagining what you shared in words. Somehow I didn't get the sense that you were as loving with the vacas as you have always been with burros -- Que pasa?
So looking forward to seeing you soon! I hope we have a winter you won't soon forget. MOOOOO!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Kit!!
I'd know your comment anywhere! I love burros, true. However, I have affection for cows but I learned not to get too close because some of them aren't as friendly as burros at close range!!

Jeanne said...

Hi Rudee,
Thanks once again for your great support and on-going help with the blog. So many people are grateful!! Would you believe that two of the mamas have already presented healthy male calves??? How's that for cooperation!!