Saturday, December 12, 2009

Goats and New Shoes in Bwiza

Early Christmas presents are delivered from the US Embassy and the Bwiza Villagers have acquired goats.

Karl Deringer and Eddie visited Bwiza early in December, bringing new shoes for the villagers, and pencils, hats and small stuffed animals for the children.

Everybody turned out for this exciting event. Just look at the children's faces to see how much it means to have your own pencil.

And the specially requested running shoes by this young lady, so that she can participate in sports at school.

There were also wool beanies and toys sent by the embassy staff in Kigali.

Suddenly there are goats! Where did they come from?

Karl was thrilled to learn that the people of the village had made a decision to purchase goats with money that the dance troupe had earned by dancing at an event in the American Embassy in Kigali. This decision was based on an assessment that goats are the most practical animals for this environment.
Chickens were considered but they have to be fed grain which must be purchased regularly. Similarly, rabbits need extra feed to supplement grass, which would also need to be purchased. Goats, however can scavenge and eat almost anything. Each goat provides a lot of meat and the market for sales of kids and goat meat is very strong. Goats generally bear young twice a year and usually have two kids at each birthing, so the population will grow and most of the male kids will be sold.
The villagers are well versed in how to care for goats and one man in the village specializes in making ropes for tethers from sisal. He can make a 10 foot rope in about 30 minutes starting with the sisal leaves and ending with a strong elegant rope.