At the beginning of my fourth week on the farm, Josiah told me that the key to success is consistency. It’s a concept that seems pretty simple and concrete, but I’ve found that trying to blend consistency and farming together proves to be much more difficult than I ever anticipated. Consistency requires steadfast diligence. It’s existing in a state where you’re constantly striving for what is better and pushing your mind outside of the box to think of new ideas. But at the same time, consistency creates an environment of stability. In my mind, the most difficult thing about maintaining consistency is not crossing into the area of complacency. Because consistency is birthed out of excellence.
It was another rainy week at Suubi.
Josiah, Patrick and I want to create a culture of consistency at the farm. We want to push ourselves and the workers to do everything with a thorough excellence each day. But for us to get to the point of thriving under a consistent routine, we’ve first had to make many changes and improvements so that the farm can operate under a state of proactivity rather than reactivity. One of our main priorities is trying to make sure that forage is grown and preserved over the dry season. The grass that is grown for the goat kids has recently been affected by disease that has spoiled nearly an entire field. So to keep a forage that the kids are thriving on, Josiah and Patrick decided it would be wise for us to cut the grass and transplant the seedlings to new beds.
Patrick and Josiah work to the section off the field that was cleared and planted with transplanted grasses.
While the boys stayed busy working on the forage program, I continued to work on inventory and updating the records. In the barn, there is a milk lab that now serves as a storage closet. We hope to have the milk lab up and running soon, so the contents of the room needed to be sorted through, recorded and organized. I ended up finding many items that will be useful. I was particularly excited about finding a set of filing folders that will allow me to implement the filing system that Lacey Roberts created while she was working at the farm. And now an accurate inventory exists so that we can better utilize the numerous products and tools the farm possesses, many of which have been generously donated by people from the United States.
Josiah waters a newly planted bed.
At Watoto Church last weekend, one of the pastors said something that has really stuck with me. While communicating the vision of the church, he said that Watoto doesn’t want to give God average things. They want to give him their best, because he didn’t give us an average Jesus. While cleaning out closets, transplanting grasses and brainstorming about the future, my mind kept coming back to this idea. When I leave the farm in a few weeks, I don’t want to look back and find that my work was only average. I want to give Suubi Goat Farm my best, because I serve a God that loved me enough to sacrifice his son, who was the best human that’s ever lived. I want the farm to reflect the love, beauty and mercy that God bestows upon me every day. And the thing about God is that he’s the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He’s consistent. And if that’s the character reflected by my creator, then I feel confident that Josiah might be onto something. Success might be the key to seeing lasting and impactful change at Suubi.
Sarah Weiss is a 2017 Noble-Watoto Fellow working at Watoto Child Care Ministries in Uganda. Weiss is from Brenham, Texas, and has one semester left in the master of international agriculture program at Oklahoma State University. She focuses on education, extension and outreach.