I know, I know – it’s a LONG time between postings. Sorry. This has been a very busy time since I got back from Kunene/vacation (my last post). I’ve been back to the USA for over a month, spent a week training the new group for Peace Corps to replace my group, been to Close of Service for my group (41), and moved to my new posting in Oranjemund. Following posts will cover all of that.
But for now, here is an update – possibly the last one for me – on the poultry project. Again, thank you to everyone for the donations in the (USA) spring (fall here in Namibia).
The old layers were taken out of the hen house in May and slaughtered to make way for the new group (the ones you kind folks bought for Penduka).
Just before they “left” for a higher purpose (dinner), they looked like this:
Liina collected one of the last batch of eggs from this group – they had been laying very productively for about one year. It is normal for layers to be producing most strongly in the first year.
And two or three times a week she (or Phillip) would have this many eggs, or more.
A few days later – this is now the same group of layers looked:
I know – gross.
Here, Kauna and Kaino were doing a part of the slaughtering. They processed about 109 hens in two days.
And these are the eggs that would have been harvested by Liina the next day after the hens has laid them. These are not just the yolks, these are the “in process” eggs taken from the slaughtered hens. What looks like yellow yolks are the brown shells before they are fully formed. It only takes 1-2 days for a hen to produce a new egg, so these are from about 25-30 slaughtered hens. They are really good fried! Plus I had all the fresh gizzards and livers I wanted! (Which was a lot, by the way. )
Then the new batch of layers were released into the hen house, and would have begun laying by mid-June.
So the cycle continues. Another new group of layers should be purchased around the first part of 2018 and will replace these hens in June or July.
But how about the broiler project? If you recall, donors contributed about US $3,500 out of the US $5,000 estimated for the broiler project – cages, chicks, food, other equipment, etc. The cages arrived in good shape, and on 27 April the first group of day-old chicks arrived.
Before they think how cute they are and start to name them, remember they will be dinner in seven weeks!
Their lodging was all ready for them. This shows part of the cages for 400 chickens, 50 in each cage, and added 100 every two weeks (that is/was the plan). The broiler house is new (this is the inside) and has a concrete floor for sanitary reasons.
And here are the chicks after two weeks. They are already big enough that the food and water is outside the cages.
It is about this time that I left Penduka, so this is probably the last shot I’ll be able to post of the poultry project.
The bottom line is that your contributions were used directly, and effectively, for the poultry project. Some of the budget items were shifted – for instance we decided to build the new house for the broilers instead of putting the cages under an existing shed, but it worked out MUCH better! The chicks are growing, and the first group of 100 only had four die of the “learning curve” with any new project. The second group of 100 didn’t start for four weeks instead of two, but the first group should have been sold by now. Some slaughtered, some sold live in Katutura.
The contributions you made have positively improved the lives of the women of Penduka, and of Katutura. Thank you so very much. Precisely none ($0.00) of the contributions were misused, or taken up in administration fees. The profits from the broiler project will be used to expand the program, and the vendor of the cages wants to work with Penduka to build a much larger broiler house, including an abattoir (slaughter house) for a much larger poultry operation. They also are already using Penduka for a training location for other poultry operations that are starting up in Katutura, and in parts of Namibia, after people came to visit the Penduka operation.
This is one of the things – only one – that makes Peace Corps service so rewarding. Getting to experience the support of the people that contributed from 10,000 miles away, watching the Namibian people use the funds you donate to improve their lives and nutrition, and the sheer joy of being able to work with these folks in their efforts. and seeing it become self-sustaining.
I’ll post soon – I promise! – about my trip back to the USA, then training the new group of volunteers, and then my moving to Oranjemund and my new post, here.
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