Goats portray life!

I have just returned from a trip to Haiti where I met with all of our groups to see their progress and to share in their joys and struggles. I am pleased to report great progress within our groups and it is exciting to see that families are being blessed and looking to the future with hope and expectation.

I spent a lot of time at our goat farm and truthfully, I get the biggest kick out of watching them. They are the funniest animals, and I have come to think they are a lot like people. Start the feeding time for the goats and it is kind of like watching people at the blue light special at K Mart when everyone rushes over to be sure they “get” what they want. Goats, as you know will eat anything and everything. They have an insatiable appetite. I think they would eat themselves to death if given the chance. We just brought in a new male goat from the Dominican Republic to help upgrade the breed to improve our stock. He was quite impressive (all white) and he was just starting to feel accepted by the rest of the goats. The assimilation process seemed kind of like a new high school student who has just moved to a new town, trying to become part of the scene. It is never easy to be accepted by the status quo.

Recently, two of the three pregnant goats lost their babies from being kicked in the sides as they sought to get to the food trough. I suppose this reflects one of the principles of evolution, the survival of the fittest. Sadly, the goats who can push others away are not only the ruling order of the goat world, they reflect a certain characteristic of humanity; namely how some people and businesses will do anything to get ahead. From this experience of losing 4 goats because of the food chain, we have learned that we need to build another food trough to separate the females who are expecting so that this does not happen again. The loss of 4 baby goats is an economic hardship for our goat farmers. But our groups of farmers in Haiti and Ghana are learning as they go, and we will take the steps to rectify this situation.

The goat farm in Haiti is a microcosm of how life is lived for most people in the developing countries of the world, where eating three meals a day is unheard of either from a “food scarcity” or a “poverty” perspective. We who enjoy the abundance so much that we literally eat ourselves to death, are contrasted with most of the world that has no food and children go to bed hungry every night. It is not fair, people dying from overeating and people dying from not eating. We at the iF Foundation invite you to consider joining us in our desire to improve lives in Haiti and Ghana. I have a favorite bumper sticker I saw many years ago that stuck with me. It said:

Live simply so that others may simply live

May we by our behavior distinguish ourselves from the goats, and learn to share what we have to benefit others.

Jim Byrum

One Response to “Goats portray life!”

  1. Eileen March 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    I like the part about you getting a kick out of watching the goats…
    I am glad that you did not get kicked!!!

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