The last few days have been focused on poultry improvements. I worked with our electrician, Edwin Suah, to install a solar panel and 12-volt LED lights in the second poultry building as Lavela and some workers attached tarps that will be pulled down during the rainy season. Now there are four fully functioning chicken pens. Work is being done inside the feed storage building to construct a screened-in enclosure that will help deter rats from helping themselves to our chicken feed. Edwin is wiring up lights inside as well as under the two walkways connecting the three buildings. I brought some supplies to install a car power adapter (known as a cigarette lighter for my generation and older). This will allow a small portable refrigerator to run off the solar, giving us the capability to properly preserve our poultry vaccines prior to use. The next match of 250 chicks will be ordered next week.
Several days ago, out of the corner of my eye I caught a white Land Cruiser passing our security booth and heading up towards the poultry. I like to know who’s visiting so I headed out the guesthouse door, over the hill to the pens and introduced myself to the two visitors. I noticed a UNDP (United Nations Development Program) logo on the car door so my curiosity was piqued even more. They had heard about our guesthouse and poultry farm and wanted to investigate. We chatted for a while then I hit the “how can you help us with our farm” button because everyone is a potential resource. He explained there were programs we may qualify for but, as with anything like the UN, there’s a “process”. I took his info plus a contact for the head of the UNDP office in Gbarnga, Daniel Thompson. It’s been a few days but I finally made a connection and he’s coming tomorrow to observe our farm. We’ll see where this heads.
Meanwhile, I’ve been dealing with some staffing issues. A couple of security guards have not been performing in a manner that satisfies our head of security, James. We talked for a while and he suggested laying out a written guideline for me to review. The process has begun along with discussions about adding another guard to act as a substitute during illness or family emergency. In anticipation of the next flock of chicks, we are also considering another poultry worker.
The cooks always seem happy. I’m working with them to install shelving throughout the main room which will allow them to plate an additional 56 meals for the students. My ulterior motive is really to create some drying rack space because I’m gradually moving them away from traditional washing/drying methods to a more “sanitary” scheme. It’s not that they’re unclean, it’s just that 90 wet plastic bowls stacked in a heap will not dry thoroughly. I’d also like to introduce a final “sanitizing rinse” using a little bleach water. Small steps…small patient steps.
Some good need about the old baby Foton – Sumo says someone is interested in buying it and might possibly visit tomorrow.
Hopefully Leon and Donna have made it to Providence by now and are appreciating the cold, dry Nee England air.