105 goats bleat and make noise in a pasture outside a school in Matopos, Zimbabwe. We arrive to see them chasing each other, nervous as we enter the pasture and set up in our different places. Ed and Jodi get ready to vaccinate, handlers are ready to catch goats, and Dave and I get ready to tag goat’s ears with the names of their future owners who are standing by, waiting to see which goats will go home with them.
Outside the fence surrounding the pasture, families wait and some donkey-pulled cards are ready to be loaded with goats because the walk home is long and the carts will make the move easier and faster.
Soon, we develop a rhythm – goats are caught and brought in for vaccination and tagging. I leave Dave to the tagging and start talking to families, hearing over and over again how this project is going to help the children stay in school while helping guardians feed the children for whom they care. Everyone is a winner here and it is thrilling to be a part of this day. It only takes two hours to complete our work here and we move away knowing that something good has happened. Children and adults have hope that they will be self-sufficient, able to care for themselves without need of further external help.
Before leaving,”Siyabonga”, a song about thanks, is sung to our small group by the elderly guardians and children. It makes me smile each time I hear it because I know that with the thanks, we also receive wishes of blessing and joy. Feet stomp and hands clap as they sway and sing and my heart stomps and claps to the rhythms, too.
Thank YOU for being the one to whom we should all sing Siyabonga. Thanks for caring.
Due to an incredibly weak internet connection here in Zimbabwe right now, I can't upload photos, but will do so as soon as i can.