Friday, April 14, 2017

Jack's Pigs

We're on a roll with farm animals!

Jack saved up a little money. He wanted to invest in something that would earn more money so he could have a little savings when he goes off to college next year.  He did his homework and decided to raise pigs and sell the meat.  (If you know Jack,  you know that he now knows everything there is to know about pigs).  We've got the space and they are way down on the property, out of the way of people, so nobody ever has to smell them, cause pigs don't smell good!  There was an old foundation of an animal pen or something that he used so all he needed was a roof and walls.  He and his grandpa got it built when they were visiting over Christmas and in February 2 pigs arrived.  He got them from some Mennonite people about an hour and a half away in Tecpan.  They are known to have good pig meat  and were willing to sell a couple of piglets.  Not just any old pig will make a good profit. Who knew!  We don't eat much pork here in Guatemala, mostly because we've heard that there can be parasites and that's true.  These guys are given parasite treatments on a regular basis so we are anxiously awaiting some good pork.

Jack is working HARD!!  He takes really good care of the pigs and has had to clean their pen ALOT.  The cold here upsets their tummies so he's had to clean the pen extra.  He's a trooper though and does what needs to be done.  He's up early before school at 5:30am to feed them and takes care of them when he gets home, then he takes a nap.

They've only escaped once so far and really aren't much trouble to have around.  Of course that's easy to say because Jack is doing all the work.   Their time will come in June and we'll see what the profit margin is.  If it's good and he's not too tired, then he'll do it all over again.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Sheep


Throughout our 6 years here and working with 12x12, we've received may gifts from the families who received a house.  The gifts have ranged from meals, vegetables, fruit, handmade items, a beautiful mirror, plants, etc.  It's always humbling to receive something from people who have very little but want to show kindness and gratitude to us.   This is apart from their thankfulness to God for His provision and the donors for their generosity.  Last year we got the most interesting (and humbling) gift yet, Pelibuey sheep.  Yes, farm animals.  This family raises them for meat and gave us 2!  Chris tried really hard to not take them because #1 we don't need any more animals and #2 we don't want to take away from their livelihood, but there was no leaving without them.  Sometimes we just have to let others bless us in a way that speaks to them.  To not accept it would rob them of the joy of giving, thus we took the sheep.  They gave us a male and female so they would reproduce and we'd have an endless supply of meat - they say it's "tan rico!" which means really good.  I'll never know cause I'm not eating it!  I don't know, I prefer to eat meat that comes wrapped in plastic, from a grocery store.  I'm not keen on eating something I've seen in person.

To show our complete lack of farm animal experience (we're missionaries not farmers!), we thought they were goats so we call them "The Goats".  It wasn't until recently we discovered they are actually sheep.  And it's really an odd situation being that the sheep are mother and son but I'll stop there. Apparently that's acceptable in the sheep breeding world.  When we first got them, we could pet the male and he was pretty calm but now he's a full on animal and can head butt like nobody's business so we stay clear of him.  He's not a friendly!

The male

So, now we have 2 baby sheep/goats!  And they couldn't be any more precious.  Pretty much from the start, the mama rejected one of them so they have been affectionately named Favor and Minus.  Poor Minus gets nothing - no love, no milk, nada, just a swift head-butt from his mother.  We have had to hold the mama down so Minus can nurse and now consider ourselves professional "goat wrestlers".  Since this was not an easy, long-term solution and hazardous because sheep have very strong head-butts, we were buying fresh goat's milk from a guy who drives his truck around every day, with goats in the back, selling milk on the street.  That got to be too expensive so we've switched to fresh cow's milk.  Minus takes a bottle 4-5 times a day and everyone is happy.  He's the cutest little thing though and to hear him call us, as if he was calling his mama, when we walk up with the bottle is too much!


Favor the day he was born with Jed


Kendy and Minus