Wednesday January 17 morning, Dr. Sherry Teefey and Teresa Suessen went with Susan from Gulu who works with the CSJ sisters there and Claudia from Morogoro who is a CPS sister to start the training at Kitovu Hospital for midwives. They met with eight midwives, some with experience, some brand new.
The rest of the group: myself, Sr. Barb Schlatter, CPPS, Julie Gundlach, and Julie Shearburn, joined Fr. George in a trip to the Cow Project Breeding Center. There we participated in the very first pass-on ceremony of a cow from the breeding farm. The recipient farmer was Sr. Mary, a Daughter of Charity sister who is in leadership for this dynamic group of women. Bishop John Baptist Kaggwa drove us to his home, where we met Fr. Peter Ssenkaayi, who took the group on a tour of the MADDO Dairy in the town of Masaka. Fr. Peter spoke of his dream to package yogurt in cups. He reported that there are three milk collection centers that deliver 2000-4000 liters of milk every other day to the dairy. His strategic plan involves building a new, more modern dairy and using the current facility as a sales center. We each tasted and enjoyed the delicious strawberry yogurt.
Next for us was a two hour meeting with the Cow Project Team, most of which was spent discussing the pass-on rate and ways to improve the pass-ons. We all seemed in agreement about next steps. At the meetings conclusion, we drove almost an hour to a cow pass on ceremony! First we stopped at the family passing on the cow, collected the cow, loaded her into a truck, and continued on to the receiving family. The head of this household is a mother with five children who has also taken in three children, each of whom has disabilities. To thank Microfinancing Partners in Africa, this mother presented Julie Gundlach (who gave a wonderful speech on behalf of Microfinancing Partners in Africa) a live chicken. What a gift out of what little she had!
We arrived back at the social centre at 7:30 pm, where everyone refreshed a bit, except for Bishop John Baptist Kaggwa and me–we met for almost an hour before rejoining the group for dinner at 8:30. At the conclusion of an abundant and delicious meal, we were presented with a cake, a gift from the Cow Farmers of the Masaka Cow Project to Microfinancing Partners in Africa. This cake was enormous–it could have fed 60-70 people! The Bishop thanked us, and our day was at an end.
I am now in my room, where I heard my phone beep–which means wifi!! Which means a WhatsApp call to the U.S. Please know that each of us carries you in our hearts. We are all doing well and have recovered nicely from any jet lag. This group is a wonderful travel group!
Tomorrow is the second day of training for this group of midwives, and the other part of the group will visit the projects at St. Joseph Matale parish, participate in a pig pass on ceremony, and meet with the Piglet Project Team for a report and discussion.