Lianna, the supervisor at the goat farm, asked me to step in for her as supervisor so she could visit a friend in Jinja and take a few days of vacation. I was honored to help her out I thought of it as a trial run for me being in the real world after graduation.
The farmhands do much of the work at the farm. They have a schedule that they follow each day, and all the tasks are assigned. The supervisor is needed to make both major and minor everyday decisions, like which medication to administer, which goats need to be transferred to which pens based on their cycle, or which kid to wean. The most important decision seemed to be how much milk to sell or save or freeze. And each change or addition must be recorded.
Most days, I was just trying to keep up with the farmhands, who have their schedule down so well that they don't even seem to have to keep track of the time. So, I was the new girl just tagging along and asking probably silly questions.
But there were other perks as well. When milking was finished and I had completed the new electric fence, I was able to have a couple hours of rest during the day. Lianna's house is on top of the Suubi village in a beautifully landscaped oasis. It was so peaceful.
There are some semi-domesticated cats to keep me company.
And a hammock for relaxing between milkings.
Walking through the village each day was a joy. I got to see the sunrise each morning and watch the clouds clear from around the neighboring hills. The temperature was perfect, even the rains seemed to add to the essence of the place.
Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience being a step-in supervisor.
Emily Jost is a 2015 Noble-Watoto Fellow working at Watoto Child Care Ministries in Uganda. Jost is from Edmond, Oklahoma, and is in her final semester in the master of international agriculture program at Oklahoma State University, where she focuses on sustainable development.