Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tanzania Day 3- "Cows" (Tanzania)

"I will never look a cow the same way again! Before today, I never really thought of cows as anything special. Yes, I'm grateful they provide milk so I can put cream in my coffee or have milk for my cereal. But actually, my only exposure to cows themsleves is smelling them along the highways in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico....or in my old tv reporting days, doing stories about dairy farmers. Occasionally, I have seen them at the fair and once, I even tried to milk one on live television.

But after today's experience, I have a whole new appreciation for cows!!!!

I spent the day with Jasintha Mollel, a 41-year-old woman with 6 children, who lives in a remote area of Tanzania. Six years ago, World Vision gave her a simple gift....a brand new dairy cow. A cow?! I know, to most of us that's not the coolest gift. It's not an Ipad. It's not a new jazzy electronic for Christmas. What would we as Americans do with a cow?

Yet, before you chalk this up to just a blog about need to hear Jasintha's story. Before she got her cow from World Vision, she said her children were extremely weak from starvation. She stayed up late at night praying to God to help her and her family. It was heart wrenching to hear her talk about horrible she felt about to not be able to provide for her kids. As an aunt, I can't imagine telling my niece or nephews they'd have to go without food a few days.

Jasintha says now she not only has a goat that provides more than enough milk for her entire family, but she actually uses....(get this)...the manure to get food! The manure serves as fertilizer to grow vegetables in her backyard. Today, she walked me through an area the size of a baseball field that is lush with fresh growing cabbage, spinach, papayas, bananas, etc.

She's also using the excess milk from her World Vision cow to sell it and pay for school fees and books so her kids can get an education. In fact, she's even started her own small business down the street and is running a makeshift convenience store.

She was so proud to tell me that she's even been able to give away baby calves to help her neighbors! What a great success story.

Who knew that a single cow could be so valuable!? or so productive!? All I know is that I''ll never look at cows the same way twice. And who knows, I may consider giving a cow for Christmas this year!"

No comments: