Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Our crew that served the dairy farmers in the Las Caobas area: Back row: Brother Jim, Dick Price, a sponsor of Breath of Life International with an interest in noise pollution who learned a lot about agriculture this past week, Colin Yoder, a veterinary colleague from Wisconsin (tried not to hold that against him); and Julia, one of our amazing interpreters who maintained a great sense of humor despite a far different environment than other interpreter gigs. Bottom row: Me and Latisia, our other interpreter whose goal is to become a writer and whose day job is an accountant.
"Simon Says" at the Seminar:  One evening during our stay in Las Caobas we offered a seminar for the dairy farmers we met.  One of the appreciative farmers provided a pig for the pig roast and Julia, one of our interpreters organized a game of "Simon Says" to give away our door prizes of electronic thermometers. These guys jumped at the invitation to participate and played along with the enthusiasm of a fifth grader!
Colin Yoder talked about calf pneumonia; I presented some of our observations that might help them improve production; Jim told the group that if he lived in the Dominican Republic he was sure he would be friends with all of them; and Dick Price gave a meaningful presentation about life with Christ in our hearts and invited them to join us in this relationship.
Over the course of our trip we visited visited 27 different farms.  Colin and I talk over what we have seen and discuss ways that the farmers can improve their production.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Made it to Dillon and Augustina's

Hello all. Jim and I boarded a public bus to Santo Domingo this morning, met a driver arranged for us by our hosts in Santiago who took us to our nephew (close enough) Dillon's apartment. Different world here as we expected: Hot water that runs without priming a pump and risking a shock when you pull the breaker, bustling city instead of horse-drawn milk delivery. We'll see if the yipping dog made the trip. The rascal seemed to follow us yesterday from Las caobas to Santiago. We may be content to listen to traffic tonight. They are taking us out to dinner this  evening. Had streeside hors d'oeuvres of fried pork and boiled cassava for starters. Both healthy and well.

A Dominican silage pile.

This calf is stimulating the cow to let down her milk. Not everyone does this, but it was the same procedure used in Zambia.

Most cows are milked by hand. Labor is cheap and electricity is expensive and not dependable.