We have been so busy since Saturday, even our usual day of rest wasn’t very restful! Saturday Christian and Indianga left at 3 am to go to Kampala and pick up two hundred rabbits. Christian has built a very nice large traveling cage and a smaller one to separate the males. While they were traveling I was in charge of the guys trying to finish up the water system. Our property has five acres running long ways and I walked (sometimes speed walked) from front to the very back of these five acres countless times! I will admit by about 5 pm I drove the car twice to carry stuff! Sunday morning my legs were so sore! The guys told Christian Sunday that Mama Raelee was back and forth – a hard-working woman! Haha! Christian messaged me around 11 am that they were close to home so I had to get all the workers out of the building. We can only allow two to three workers that are directly assigned to the care of the rabbits in the building. So that left Christian, Yahaya and I to unload the rabbits. (Raelee also helped!) It was a huge job, we had to do it quickly, it was so hot! They wanted to huddle in the one place we couldn’t reach so Yahaya and I had to crawl inside the 18″ high cage! It was funny seeing a grown man in there! We lost seven on the trip, it was so hot and they kept getting on top of each other so the heat got to them. We got them in each cage and then because the water system wasn’t quite finished we had to water each one in a bowl. That took me over an hour, was not fun! We had to water them again Sunday, but Monday morning they got the water running and every rabbit was happy!
Due to not having the water running, using the food bowls for water, we had to get matoke leaves to feed them since the pellets would fall through the floors of the cages. We would have had to strip all of our trees to feed 200 rabbits so Christian called me while he was enroute to have some of the kids that hang around go through the village collecting matoke leaves. I relayed this message to Jennifer who told me that wasn’t possible, she would call a man who had many trees but we would have to negotiate a price. She told me that no one was going to just give us leaves. LEAVES OFF THEIR TREES! Needless to say my blood pressure went up but Christian was incensed. I got another message and I read it to the workers. It went kinda like this: “We hear all the time how much we are appreciated and how much we help and now in OUR time of need we can’t even get leaves off of trees for one day? If there isn’t a truckload of matoke leaves here in the next few hours things are going to change. This is what’s going to happen. Goats and cows grazing on our land – will now cost you – 5,000/day. Helping to haul bricks and firewood will be a charge of 10,000/load. Jenifer can find someone else to help her get her goat, Sharifu owes me for all the broken bricks I gave him today, go get my wheelbarrow from lady that borrowed it and get 5,000 for using it, tarps are now 10,000/day to use. SPREAD THE WORD!” How fast do you think we got a truckload of matoke leaves? Pretty fast! Haha! (I believe Jennifer just didn’t want to go do it – I didn’t ask her to, I asked her to get all these kids we give lunch money and her daughters who are always wanting to work). Anyway, the rabbits got fed Saturday and Sunday with matoke leaves!
Yesterday we got the water running so we could feed the rabbits their pellets. While Ibra and I were filling bowls, we heard sounds of distress from the other side of the barn. We both ran around to investigate, but just see rabbits looking at us. We went back to the other side and kept filling bowls. We hear the squeals again but this time I see through to the other side and one of the smallest rabbits was practically doing backflips, then stopped and stared at me, apparently they were just being impatient and wanted their food NOW! They all knew what was going on! It was pretty funny, but as soon as all were fed they calmed down. We have to put wire over the windows and build a door but we just ran out of time. Joseph couldn’t separate the males enough – they were hurting each other – so we had to get them. We will finish that next week when they are settled some more, they can die from stress so we are trying to prevent that!
Yahaya and Ibra think it is funny that I come down and talk to each rabbit, but when I told Joseph he said that was a good thing, I will probably be able to tell pretty quick if one is not feeling well because I will learn how they act normally. He asked if we have a vet here in case we have an emergency and he can’t come. We don’t, the one vet we know of killed two goats, a cat and a dog. Almost killed our cat injecting it with too much medication. So we won’t be calling on him. Joseph has decided I am the farm vet and he is coming to teach me how to give injections. We’ll see about that! Now I will not only be the farm vet, every one of our neighbors and workers seem to think I am the village doctor also. They come to me with scrapes and cuts wanting me to bandage (I think sometimes Raelee has something to do with that!) All the way to wanting me to treat babies with high fevers (which I do – by sending them to the hospital!) Mother to many, Doctor to some, Vet to the animals. My my, how life has changed in the past year and a half!