Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blue Rose Dairy Goes to Rwanda- Intro- Day 1,2,3

I want to start off with an apology for not getting this started when I got home.... Our computer was turned off due to lack of finances and that's the nut in the shell on that. 
Now onto the Intro:
This adventure started about 4 years ago at Pikes Place Market.  We met Kathleen Harrison, she spoke with us about how to make cheese and then went onto tell us about Kenya and her Project.
Kathleen Harrison, PhD
Founding Director, HARAMBEE,

She is helping women with AIDS.  We got to talking and she told us she had a goat program, where her organization would buy the milk goats and the mom's would milk the goats instead of breast feeding their babies.  She also teaches the women to do crafts and then she helps them market their wares.  She is an amazing women to do this on her own with no pay and alot of hard work.  We thought it would be great to teach the women how to make cheese with their extra goat milk.   We just needed to figure out the logistic of doing that.  We had to plan around my birthing of babies, milking schedual and of course cheese making and our farmers markets.  So we kind of thought winter here like Dec. Jan or Feb.  Well the year came and went.  The next year I got my passport all in line and thought I might go then, but that wasn't the case.  Instead I met another lady working in Africa, Jodi Garbe.
Jode Garbe, DVM, JD
Managing Director
Rwanda Wildlife Sanctuary
& Science Education Center
in Rwanda 250 788740 428
in US 206 283 9167

She spoke at our grange, Hope Grange -Winlock Wa., about her being a veterinary for the Silver Back Gorilla's in Rwanda.  She shared about her vision of starting an animal sanctuary and veterinary clinic.  So we started talking about starting a goat dairy so she could make cheese to sell to the hotels.  This would help support the non profit sanctuary.  Jodi is working hard also to accomplish this goal.  She has the property now and is working towards building the sanctuary.
So that is a brief pre... to the trip.
 Then I had to find someone to make cheese while I was gone and that came to Taneka and Mark.  She makes goat soap and other items like deodorant and lip balm and hand lotion.  All great products.  Mark had an interest in learning to make cheese so they came over in the Summer and put their hand to task.  Its was alot of fun and they learned to process very quickly.  So about 2 weeks before I left they came over faithfully and made cheese and I gave them more free run of the processing plant each time.  The day I flew out Mark made his first batch of cheese by himself and I was in Seattle and he Now we jump up to just before the trip... Shots. I had to have 3 shots and take a pill once a week for malaria. I hate shots, but each shot didn't hurt as bad as I thought it would. So it ended up not being as traumatic as I thought. only called me a few times just to check if he was doing it right..... he was.

Now we jump up to just before the trip... Shots. I had to have 3 shots and take a pill once aweek for malaria. I hate shots, but each shot didn't hurt as bad as I thought it would. So it ended up not being as traumatic as I thought.   Then I was told by someone that I didn't need to take clothes over - because clothes were cheap there and I could just buy them there.  A few days before I was to leave I talked to Jodi and she said no way thats is not good info.  So I had to repack my suitcase to take clothes for me.  I had several people give me gifts to take over there and give away.  Bob Gurassio made me 20 wooden cars, he lives in Clatskanie Oregon.  Dick and Bev Nieces sent me 20 color books, and crayons to take, from Eastern Oregon.  My mom sent me stuffed animals and some matchbox cars to take over.  I had a teacher for Olympia bring me soccor balls and socks to give away over there.  So I took 3 suitcases filled with goodies and my clothes.
I have to throw in a big thank you to my husband and two daughters for taking over the farm and keeping things going when I was gone.  My daughters also had friends come over and help on occasion. 
Well on January 14 Jodi emailed me and told me that our flight for January 18 had been canceled and we would have to leave on the 21st instead.  One other note is that Harambee, NFP paided my airfare ticket to get to Rwanda, Thank you Kathleen and your wonderful group for such an awesome experience.  Anyway I started packing my bags and making lists. 
 On January 17 it started snowing.  Not the usual kind where it snows 2 inches then melts and freezes and then melts some more.  Oh no someone told the Weather Man I wanted to fly out to sunny weather, his response was Not on My watch.   We are in full kidding now, which means that we have heat lamps all over the barn in every pen... its cold out.  We had about 44 does kid before I left for Rwanda.  We sold all the kids we needed to before I left so that the girls didn't have any extra work to do while I am gone.  Mark came over today to packaged some restaurant cheese orders and made some chevre.  When we got up we had 10 inches of snow on the deck.  Which usually isn't a big deal except Mark needs to come do this stuff so he feels comfortable about doing it on his own.  It doesn't look like anyone is going anywhere today.  I am hoping  on Thur. the rain starts so by Friday I can run to town for the few last items I need - like bug spray, suntan lotion, garden shears for trimming goat hooves, socks, and maybe a pair of tennis shoes.   Today I took my second malaria pill and Friday the 13th I had my yellow fever shot and Mengacal (spelling may be wrong) shot to the tune of $216, the malaria tablets were $96... talk about sticker shock!!!  Tomorrow they are saying we will get more snow... ICK!
January 18
Well this morning I woke up to 25 inches of snow on the ground.  Power went our at 3:30am and came on about 9:30 am.  We milked at 10am and was done by 11am.  David had to use the tractor to clear trails so we could get around the farm.  We did chores later than usual 6pm.
January 19
Well the power went out today about 9:15am and came on about 8:30pm.  We had to milk goats by hand twice.   We used the BBQ to melt snow to water the goats.  We moved our Nigerians to the barn we couldn't even see them in the snow.  We had to move the cow to a pen because a limb fell over her pasture fence and the snow was shocking her.  911 got called twice today.  Once was a butt call.  The sheriff came out to see if were were alright.  The second one was because Ali drank bleach by mistake... she is fine.  We had freezing rain today too, tree limbs snapped everywhere.  We had a couple of trees break off and  some big limbs fall to the ground to.  It never got more than 33 degrees today.  Cant wait to see what tomorrow brings.  Had about 1/2 inch of Ice cover everything.
January 21
Well the day is here.  I got up at 5am- cleaned the kitchen a little and David had already loaded my 4 suitcases.  We stopped at Walmart to get batteries for my Ipod and camera.  I also got some pepto tabs and calamine lotion.  WE also had to get locks just for the suitcases that were airport approved.  Then off to Pikes Place.  We sold cheese all day.  We did very good so I took an extra $100 dollars with me.  David took me to Jodi's mom's house where she was packing her stuff to go.  David left me with Jodi cause he had to be back in Seattle the next day to sell cheese and needed to get home.  I took my motion sickness pills 2 hours before we were to take off.  We repacked my suitcase to get everything she had extra to take.  I put the locks on all my suitcases and then put the four keys in different places.  Jodi's mom made us sandwiches to take.  Jodi's brother took us to the airport.  The plane leaves at 11:45 for Washington DC.  I will be taking motion sickness pills every 4 hours till we get to Rwanda. 
We got into Washington DC at 4:40am.  We went to the NCO and I took a nap.  I feel better.We leave NY at 10:45am  We have to go back through security to board the Ethiopia Airlines. This was the airport that I was the most scared about.  Its huge... but the signs are big and its actually easier than I imagined to find my way around.  We ended up having to run to our airlines.  The train wasn't so bad either.  Thank the Lord, I think he was watching over me... no I am sure He was.

When we boarded this plane they gave us slippers and each seat had a monitor that we could watch our choice of movies, listen to music, watch the flight information, play games.  I chose Romancing the Stone for my movie.  They also brought us pillows, and blankets and eye covers along with toothpaste and toothbrush.  This is a huge plane.  There were hardly any passengers and so Jodi and I got 3 seats to ourselves, so we could stretch out and sleep.  We will be traveling 6314 miles to Addis Abeba and we will be traveling at 601 mph at an altitude of 6000 ft.  Thought you might like a little extra info. 
Jodi taking a nap.  This is one long flight.  Looking out the window is only clouds.  We are over the ocean.  I took another motion sickness pill.  They served us lunch: chicken with red sauce - rice and peas.  Cheese and crackers, cheesecake, green salad with Italian dressing.  Hot Tea and water.  It was very good.  This is so hard to do nothing on such a long flight... when I have so much to do.
We are now 5274 miles from Addis.  We are flying past Athens Greece now.  We went across the Mediterranean Sea.  We have been on the plane for 9 hours.  Every once in awhile the plane shakes.  I am now watching another movie, The Sound of Music.  We have about 1 hour till we are there.  They serve us breakfast: cheese omelet, tomato and hash browns, roll, crescent, jelly, coffee, water.  And I am stuffed.
I cant tell you if its night time or morning.  I think its just before sunrise.  I can see the red sky on the horizon.  We have landed...January 23.   We went out the back door of the plane and walked down the stairs and boarded a bus.  It took us to the main terminal and we then boarded a smaller bus and went to a smaller terminal.  We went into the lounge and waited for our flight to leave.
I will be sitting beside the window for this last part of the flight.  I took some pictures but they didn't turn out very good so I wont bore you with them.  We landed in Kigali where we again walked down the stairs and walked to the terminal.  We had to fill out passport paperwork again and I got my passport stamped.  The weather is warm and very nice here.  

Jodi had some friends meet us to take me where I will be staying.
I stayed with Jemrose Walker and her 9 children.  She is a foster mom helping these children through their school years.  Right now there were only two boys and 3 girls home. .  Jodi stayed for awhile.  I went and layed down and took a nap, but when I got up I had a headache so I layed back down for a while.  Think its jet lag.  I unpacked my suitcases and organized my stuff.  Staying here will be wonderful.  They don't have hot water so they heat up the water and put it in a large thermos for me to wash my face and sponge bath.  The first thing I learned was their way of greeting you... its always giving you a hug and then a hand shake.  They call me Auntie, which they call all the women that come into their house to stay.  She cooked dinner for me, Pea's with celery, potatoes, rice and bread and I had water, they had pop. After dinner the kids washed and put away the dishes. We prayed in the evening before we went to bed. It was very nice
I have to say I miss my family... I am so far away.  But the adventure is about to unfold.
I went to bed and slept very sound....

More tomorrow......


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