Meet "Billy" the goat. In this photo I have just purchased him and he is on his way to meet his harem.
The two fellows below are the reason I needed to buy a goat. On the left is Bro. Besa, a local farmer who is interested in starting a milk goat herd. The fellow on the right is Elder Stan Bingham and is the missionary in our mission responsible for self-reliance. Elder Bingham loves goats and has raised plenty of them in Idaho but mostly for meat.
Elder Bingham has been talking with an NGO in Malawi that is sponsored by Nu-Skin called School of Agriculture for Family Independence (SAFI). It has been in operation for about nine years and has been very successful. They would now like to start having milking goats as part of their program.
Unfortunately, Sister Sharon Bingham became ill and needed to return immediately to the USA. Billy was the last of 19 goats gathered to be taken to Malawi and it looks like I will be taking them along with Bro. Besa.
To find Billy, Bro. Besa and I drove east of Lusaka for about an hour until we found the compound where Mary lives. Below are the women who were sorting leaves at Mary's house.
These folks were also waiting for us.
We picked up Mary and drove for another half hour to the compound Billy's owner.
This little fellow was curious about the mzungu walking by.
Here is Mary and several ladies who identified Billy the buck as he came out of the "goat corral".
I paid 700 kwacha for Billy and the seller is counting the money. Mary is on the right. Mary is the president of a cooperative of ladies who have milking goats. They have about 225 members and about 150 come to a weekly Tuesday meeting. The meeting is at least five km from this lady's home and I asked how she got there as she also takes her milk to turn in to be picked up by a truck. She walks and said it isn't too far. She just starts early.
I needed a receipt that Billy was purchased and then will have to go to the police to get a certificate that Billy and the other goats were not stolen. Her friend immediately offered to be the "table".
We wound our way back to Mary's place and dropped her off and paid her 10 kwacha for her time and as a finder fee.
We stopped by the mission home and the office Elders wanted to see Billy. We also picked up three old tires for Bro. Besa. He will burn them to get the wires from them to use on his farm.
Below is the corral that Bro. Besa built for his goats. They are up off the ground at night for safety and health reasons. The manure is used on his crops. There are now 19 goats ready to be inspected by the Vet and certified ready to transport to Malawi. We are waiting for the rest of the paperwork and final clearance. Bro. Besa will go by bus with his wife and stay at the school and teach them about caring for the goats and learn about some of the things that are taught at the SAFI school.
These are some of the chickens Bro. Besa raises until they are old enough to be sold as fryers.
Bro. Besa is remarkable. He runs a ten hectare farm and doesn't drive or have a vehicle, so it takes a lot of extra work and ingenuity to keep things moving.
Once Billy and his harem is in Malawi we will be buying fifteen more goats. Four will be for Bro. Besa and then two each for five other families and then they will share the buck. This should be the start of milking herds for all of them. The future looks bright for everyone, especially Billy.