There is another woman here, who is originally from Argentina but studying a masters in London, doing research as well for a few more weeks. And yes she is taking fecal samples as well but comparing livestock to gorillas and then using a fancy machine PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to analyze DNA. You might think its the animals DNA but bacteria, viruses, parasites all have DNA as well. Anyway, today she needed to sample from goats so we went for a 40 minute walk to this mans house, Chief. Yes that is his name. He reminded me a little of my great Uncle John for those of you who know him. He was a big man, with rough hands, and a big laugh. He was so welcoming. He had 22 goats for us to sample. My fellow researcher was saying that at the end, she wondered why he was so grateful that we sampled his goats when its not like we helped him. I said he was happy to have the interest in his goats versus some other farmers. He was happy to have the company to talk to about his goats, his livelihood. He was happy to be part of something bigger even if he didnt understand it. I examined a goat for him because she wasnt standing on all fours, but kneeling down on her front knees to take the pressure off of her back legs (vet school taught me something!) so I looked at her feet and her claws were too long, and curving in towards each other putting pressure on her other claw and making it painful to stand. She just needs them cut short. It felt pretty damn good to be able to do that for Chief for free. I found out that there isnt a local vet here. When people get to the point of studying in higher education in countries like these, they generally try to leave or stay in the cities instead of going home where they are most needed. Chief asked more questions of Stephen, (he is the technician/research coordinator here) and myself about their housing, the stocking rate. I was so happy to be using my knowledge.
So we collected the samples, and then went back to our lab. After lunch, I helped her organize the samples and add reagents to it.
So everyone wants to know what I am eating. Dont worry I am not starving. I have three meals a day. Solomen is a chef, he went to cooking school and he cooks our meals. For breakfast we have pineapple and banana (i love pineapple here, its so fresh), toast, eggs, sometimes sausages, coffee and tea.
For lunch we had pasta with a red sauce (not moms pasta sauce), and today we had fried fish, cooked cabbage with this wonderful sauce on it, and potatoes.
Last nights dinner was like a beef stroganoff, potatoes, and green veggies with a kick to it! Im about to have tonights!!!