Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Some college kids and grad students do tree-hugging environmentally-active politically-correct summer projects. We in Bundibugyo have our summer interns hug goats. Last night, in the moonless darkness about 8 or 9 pm, a large truck loaded with 49 goats arrived on the mission compound. Lammech had gone to purchase these high-grade dairy goats from a project in central Uganda, using the funds raised by the Christmas-tree-ornament-project. Forty-nine goats had to be wrangled to the edge of the huge flat-bed truck, which was about shoulder level for us on the ground, then enfolded in the arms of a waiting Tim, Doug, Nathan, Jack, Sarah, or a few strapping young men whose darkness melted into the dark night, then physically carried a few dozen yards through uneven paths to reach the Masso goat pens. Some goats were sort of cute. Some were massive males, like the size of small cows, for breeding with local goats. These had pretty impressive curving horns and sharp hooves! Doug, ever up for humor, kept us all laughing as he called out to John (tallying) and Lammech (wrangling) on the truck: bring me a big one, bring it on, bring it on, I'm gonna wrestle this one . . . Pauline waited to sort them into the proper pens. She had arranged for loads of fodder to be available, and water. I merely held flash lights and helped people find their way around, and laughed and encouraged. But I will treasure the images of Tim and Doug, arms outstretched, determined smiles, grabbing these big wiggling furry creatures to their chests and carrying them all the way into their pens. It reminds me of Sunday School pictures of the Good Shepherd bringing home the 100th lamb. And it is probably a far cry from anyone's image of an aspiring doctor, but nevertheless very Jesus-like.