To help us get the summer started off right, a team of 5 vet students from Auburn University joined us at the end of May. Anticipating a very busy season, I contemplated cancelling on the short-term team originally. In hind site, I am so glad we didn’t, for it would have been a shame to miss the blessing we received from hosting this group.
The Auburn team’s visit marks a change in the way we have always done short-term missions. In the past, we’ve looked at visiting short termers as a service to those wanting to experience Africa and rural missions with a possible view toward long-term overseas ministry. Rarely have we viewed visitors as a service or ministry to us. The biggest reason is probably the language barrier. We don’t live in a world where you can just send visitors off with local support. Instead we have to be present for visitors to hear and to be understood. This places us in a kind of tour guide role. This time however, was much different.
6 months ago we started designing a chicken project based on the needs of the average Alduba chicken holder. Several months and many emails later the Auburn team arrived prepared to the gills with information on just about everything including but not limited to housing, feeding, breeding, and health care.
Just one day after arriving, the team was off inspecting our facilities in hopes of making recommendation on how to improve our personal flock. Also, after visiting the chickens around Alduba, they were now ready to conduct training on day 2 with local chicken owners about basic chicken care.
Another significant contribution of the Auburn team was the conversion of rabbit hutches into hen housing with a capacity for more than thirty laying hens.
Finally, the team had the opportunity to helicopter to the bush and conduct a 2-day mobile veterinary outreach among the Nyangatom people.
The Cox family owes a great debt of gratitude for all of the hard work this team put into preparing for their trip here. We’d like to thank Leslie Starnes, Amy Smith, Vanessa Barnett, Katharine Hilburn, and Drew Lowry. We’d also like to thank Dr Amie Johnson for helping them get prepared. Great Job!