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Exerpts from Emails in April-May, 2010.

Greetings to everyone,

I am back in Uganda, giving 40 dairy goats this time. I was held up for 10 days because of the volcanic ash over Amsterdam. However, I arrived at Entebbe, Uganda Airport on Tuesday, April 27 with all my 4 big heavy suitcases. This time, I wanted to bring Bibles, and they filled 1 1/2 suitcases. I found the NASB Bibles, paperback, weighing only 10 oz for $1.75. They even have Salvation information and a Salvation Prayer in the front two pages. Perfect!

We drove to Soroti on Wednesday, April 28, and NO JET LAG!! So you cannot laugh at me for getting up earlier and earlier until I was getting up at 2:00 AM the week before I left. Thursday, I was able to meet with Interpreter David and Field Veterinarian Dr. Sam. They brought me up to date with data on each of the previous 24 widows. They have done remarkably well with Dr. Sam's constant guidance. They have managed to get the herd papa goats I had placed with group leaders, and all their baby goats are Anglo-Nubian. Remarkable! David reports the new widows he has found for this time are farther out in remote areas, and even more destitute and needy than the previous. Dr. Opolot drove me to his farm on Friday, and showed me 40 beautiful Anglo Nubian females, all bred and some heavily expecting. My first field visit to give goats will be Tuesday, May 4th. I can't wait!
Love from Karen Lantz in Central Africa

(Update)  In 2008-2009, we spent around $10,700, including the 20 goats and their followup care. We have raised the funds to repay all those costs. We have good procedures set up. We send the Veterinarian out every 3 months. We have proven that we can operate on a shoestring budget. In November, 2009, I got a Veterinarian’s report that both Ariokot Mary and Acuo Rose had 7 baby goats in just 18 months! Mary had received the baby triplets from me, the mama goat then had a single, and then had triplets again. Acuo Rose’s goat had twins after I gave it, then had triplets, and then the first female twin had twins. This is far beyond my wildest expectations! It should provide a very good income for them.  The sale of an adult goat can bring a year’s subsistance income. And so, our desire to feed children milk is turning into a good income for our widows. They can buy food, clothing, another hut, education, and give start-up herds to their children. They were the poorest of the poor, and now have a future. We who have so much can make such a difference in the world, one family at a time. Goats are the perfect way to ease the poverty of these widows and children. 

I am lucky my son is taking a few days off and driving me. In the past, I had done some driving from Soroti out to the schools where we met. However, the drive from our new little town of Ngora to Soroti is a tough one.  Have I told you how awful the roads are? The highways are the worst. There are big potholes to avoid. Big trucks, busses and taxivans come barreling down the middle, and we are forced to get over on the edge. Not so bad, except so many people are walking or bicycling along the edge. It is really hard to see them at night. I’m always glad when we finally get to turn off the highway on our dirt road about half way to Ngora. It’s very rough, but a pleasant drive with just friendly folks along the way. Thursday night, we stopped beside the dirt road in the dark so the grandkids who were my helpers that day, could get on the roof luggage rack and pick mangos from their favorite mango tree. Only in Uganda!

The goats this year are so wild! Most are at least 2 years old, and aren’t accustomed to being led on a rope. They all have horns and most of them have beards. Tough girls ha ha! They are all expectant, and some pretty close to delivering. They look pretty hearty and healthy, and I hope these weak little widows can handle them.  One goat tried to run from the widow, and she held on to the rope.  It swung around behind her where I was, and I got a goat horn on my leg.  Luckily, it was just a long deep scratch, and has healed up nicely.  You might notice in some of the pictures that I am keeping away from the goats.  In fact, Dr. Sam was in a lot of the pictures because the goats were hard to handle.  However, they settled down pretty fast.

Monday and Tuesday, we are going to visit the former 20 widows from 2008. I am looking forward to seeing them and finding out how they have been doing. Most of them are developing nice herds by now.  I am taking Dr. Sam’s advice and replacing all of the 2008 mama goats that were infertile or that died.   I have to be careful and follow local customs. I just want to give when someone needs something, but after talking it over with Dr. Sam, David and my son, I get good advice to trade them something they have for something I’m giving them.

About the people, it is not considered rude to stare at people. If I’m in Soroti town waiting for someone, people will come over to my side of the sidewalk and slowly walk past about an inch from my face. I must be quite a sight! Out at the schools, if I go outside to escape the heat while Dr. Sam is giving his lecture, they crowd around me silently, just staring. The other day, they finally wandered away, and I found that there was indeed a nice breeze under the shade tree. The day we moved into the house in Ngora, young people were everywhere, climbing on nearby unfinished buildings. One even sat on our wall which doesn’t have the razor barb wire installed on top yet. One of our huge guard dogs raced over there barking and leaped at the wall. That kid got out of there super fast. We have a 100% German shepherd, and a half German shepherd and half Doberman. They are really gentle with the grandchildren. We’re trying to get them to accept our new chickens that were given to us this week.

Last week, I had over 30 mosquito bites on my right arm. I don’t know when the despicable little creatures got me. However, I take my trusty Malerone malaria pills every day. I have been very healthy and handling the heat and humidity well. I hear it has been pretty cold back home. Save some for me, ok? I plan to chill out!!!
Sorry I can’t send pictures from this new wireless internet. I have some good ones and will send them after I get home. Bye for now.
Love from Karen Lantz, somewhere around the world.

Subject: Pictures from Karen Lantz
Hi Everybody,
We think we have figured out how to send pictures on this new wireless network service. The first pic is of a widow receiving her Bible, and joyfully singing a song about God. I have her whole song on video, and hope to put it on our website. You can see part of Interpreter David, and parts of two of my granddaughters working in the background filling bags of supplies. That was my first day out, and particularly hot and lengthy.

The second picture is my son Lawrence giving a closing prayer on my 4th day out (this time with previous widows from 2008). You might see that I am holding the gift of a chicken (the kind with no feathers on its neck).  Because it was "Prayed over", my grandchildren promptly named her Amazing Grace (Grace for short). She is contented in her new home with us in Ngora with green grass, plentiful food and water, and an armed guard.

Love from Karen Lantz

Hello Everyone,
I’ll send one last email to wrap up my 2010 trip to Uganda.  I managed to give African Anglo Nubian dairy goats to 40 new widows.  I met with my 20 former widows from 2008, and replaced 6 of their mama goats – two were infertile and 4 mama goats had died.  For the women who had no goats at all, I gave mama goats with babies at their sides.  Dr. Opolot had kept 4 female goats at his farm, and they had increased to 7 females, several with babies at their sides.   Our Interpreter David heard one woman telling the others that it is unusual for a Charity to give adult goats with babies at their sides.  She thought most Charities give young immature females.  I don’t know about that.

I gave, I traded, and even bought 2 males and one female from the 2008 widows.   It is surprising that they would already be ready to sell goats in just 2 years.  By the end of their third year, they all should be able to sell goats.  I took back my 2 herd papas to place with the new 40 widows.   We are committed to getting these first 20 widows set up with successful herds.  When all was said and done, I ended up with 4 goats of mixed heritage that I gave to the local orphanage.   Each was worth about $20 to $30 US, so not worth trying to sell at a meat market.  One (from Faith) was an excellent female of mixed European Toggenberg/African Anglo-Nubian dairy goat bloodlines.  The Orphanage Director was excited about that one because he knew a family who could use the milk.   

You may remember Faith, the original widow from 2006 who inspired me to start this Charity.  I traded her a bicycle for one of her mixed goats.  The bicycle will cost 4 times more than the goat, but that is ok.  She needed to feel that she was giving us something for it.  She was very excited about the bicycle, and ready to get it immediately of course.  I also traded her an Anglo Nubian female for another of her mixed goats.  The A-N goat was worth 8 times more than her goat.  She already has an Anglo Nubian papa, so she will raise a very valuable herd.  She had done well raising Toggenbergs, but there is not a good market for selling them for anything more than meat.

I gave far more goats this time, but lost the closeness I had in 2008 when I went and visited half of them at their homes.  The 20 widows from 2008 will always be special to me.  I carry their pictures in my purse, and they were delighted that I recognized them and could call them by name.

The gift of Bibles along with the Salvation Prayer have been working very well. In fact, several people have sneaked into our meetings and gotten saved behind my back! By the end of my trip, I estimate more than 100 people received the salvation Prayer.  This includes teachers, teenage children, siblings of widows, and curious neighbors. I’ll definitely bring extra Bibles next time. Our young pickup driver was kind of bored the first day and sat in his pickup while waiting for the action to begin.   I saw him fervently praying the Salvation Prayer the third day.  Now, when he drives up, he gets out and greets each widow individually with a big smile. He comes into our meetings, and sometimes starts talking if he can get in a word.  He’s a delightful young man, who is pleased to be a part of this

We plan to keep sending out the Veterinarian to them every 3 months.  Within another year, the 2008 widows should all be selling goats and able to pay for it themselves.  Most of them have several goats, and their herds will increase exponentially.  The African A-N goats breed at a younger age, and have a high frequency of twins and some triplets.  The few widows who had bad luck lost goats to illness, eating plastic bags, killer bees, eating cassava peelings, and getting hit by vehicles on the roads.  One widow was even coerced into selling her goat herd to a neighbor for a small price.  I had previously warned the widows about selling to anyone but Dr. Sam and Dr. Opolot.  Dr. Sam and David took the local government official to the man’s place, and forced him to give back the two female goats.  This year, I taught the widows to “Just say, NO”.  Say “NO” to anyone who wants to buy, take or receive the goats for any reason.   I’d have them shout “NO” and they were laughing and delighted at the empowerment. These women have been helpless second class citizens all their lives.   If anyone is bored, sad or depressed, they should know the wonderful thrill of hearing the news that an indigent widow from around the world has a new baby goat born into her herd. 


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A Non-Profit Christian Charity
PO Box 9362
Rapid City, SD 57709

PROVERBS 27:27 "There will be enough goats' milk for your food…and for the food of your household."