As I mentioned earlier, today was the start of goats…

So far about 33 goats have been purchased by donors in Canada. Luckner hired a guy to purchase them for HATS. 13 have been sourced so far. The goats were to be delivered to the school compound on Friday although apparently the man refused so we drove to Luckners Saturday to find out where they were. Of course no-one wanted to sit IN the cab of the truck so the kids all sat in the back. My boys have wimpy Canadian bums so used chair pads.

Kids in Truck heading to Luckners

Word spread that we were at Luckners so the goats that had been tied up at various places started to arrive in 2’s and 3’s. They were quickly & efficiently trussed up so they couldn’t leap out of the truck bed as we cruised a rockin’ 15km an hour over potholes on the way home. Goats Arriving, Trussing, Leaving took close to an hour. Goats bleat. A lot. Loudly. Dramatically. When they’re standing around snacking this bleating seems innocuous. When they are trussed up in the back of a pickup it doesn’t sound quite so innocent. This created another kind of bleating in Alexa and involved some tears and sobs.

Truck with 13 goats

So the goats are in the truck and my mom is ready to leave and take them back to the Soccer Field to eat while we wait for people to show up to get them. “Ummmm, Mom… who is going to take them out of the truck and untie them?” I’m willing to give it a shot although they are quite heavy and I’m concerned I’ll drop the goats on their backs trying to get the thrashing beasts from the truck… She looked at me blankly like this hadn’t occurred to her. She had the men climb in the back with the 13 goats so they could untie them at the compound. WHEW!

Trussed up goats

As the goats are unloaded and released into the soccer area Mom see’s plastic bags and bottles and sends us scurrying around picking up all the plastic cause the goats will eat it and die. Oh my, it’s a BIG field! We spread out and start collecting, then she realizes the goats are all heading to the back corner… OH NO, that’s the burn pit and the regular guy is away and the pit is only ½ burned and there’s plastic EVERYWHERE! We get a garbage can and pick through that while shooing goats and we’ve collected an entire garbage can and have barely dented it. Wait, let’s tie them on instead. Nothing to tie to, surrounded by solid cement walls. Shoot. The kids go running for wood, machete’s and mallets. We chop, we pound, we tie up to stakes (poorly I may add as evidenced below). Then we haul water. It’s now hours after we first encountered the goats. Neighboring children, known thieves, have climbed up the school compounds 8foot walls and are staking it out. Any goats left tied up by nightfall will be hauled up the walls and sold or killed for food. We call the guy who has been hired to sleep out with the goats. He’s away for the weekend. So now what? I sure as heck am not sleeping out there with them and fighting off machete wielding children! We call Luckner and ask him to find some of the people they’ll be given to and send them over. I go over to eat lunch at 2pm (at the desk so I can blog) and then run back and forth from the orphanage compound to the school compound each time someone comes to the gate to get their goat. I get them to pose with their goat for a photo while my mom looks through the ‘goat receipts’ to figure out which one matches which goat.

Lunch at the desk


Goat dragging it’s stake


Marta and Germaine deciding on their goats

Yes, Goat Receipts! Each goat comes with a stamped official receipt so that a) it’s proof it was purchased by HATS, not stolen. B) the recipients are Ok to walk home with it without someone thinking they stole it and if anyone does accuse them they have papers to prove they own it. The papers have a ‘description’ of the goat although blanc/jaune was quite common.

Goat Receipt

Today was about ½ a day of goat distribution and we got 5 goats to their new owners and have 8 now tied up beside mom’s house here on the kids compound so that they won’t get stolen. Bleating will be a neat new sound to add to the outdoor sleep symphony tonight.

Dragging goats to the house

HATS Hair Salon… was in business tonight. Mom has to do her own perms with the help of visitors. I think she wishes she’d waited until my Aunt came down next month. We checked the perm, it was the right curl. We pulled out the rods. We hadn’t neutralized. Neutralized? OMG, what is that? Is it important? Panic. Laughter, panic more. Cram the rods back in willy nilly, and we ended up with way less rods back in the second time. Then Neutralize, Rinse, Remove. Mom asked me how it looked, I told her: ‘Decidedly straw like. Is that the look you were going for?’ I got a swat on the behind and my mom laughed for the next 5 minutes. I still have no idea how it actually looks.