Friday, March 25, 2011

A Cheery Reunion

(Written on 2/28/2011 in Isandlwana, South Africa)

Samson leading the way to milk the cows - bucket in hand

Milking a cow doesn’t seem like it would be that difficult – but after hearing Samson squirting milk into the bucket and hitting the sides with a rattling noise, my piddly “jerks” with a similar sound to pee were disheartening.  I guess I didn’t get too much of my mom’s “Ellensburg farm girl” gene.

Here we go a milkin'

Either way, I was pleased this morning when I woke up at 7:30 and trotted out to the Kramer’s barn to find a new born calf! Quite frankly, I didn’t actually know it was a new born.  When I was told that this giant walking, mooing species was actually something that was “pushed out” (sorry for the graphic term) the night before, I felt an instant sympathy for the calf’s mom.  Ouch.  Brings new meaning to the term “have a cow.”

Attempting to try some REALLY fresh milk
That "little" one is Molasses
Since I was the first to spot the calf, I was honored with naming it.  Not knowing whether it was a boy or a girl, but sticking to the tradition of the Kramer’s food names, I chose Molasses.  I figured if it’s a girl they could name it Molly for short. J

After trying my hand at farm life, I retreated to the house for my last gluttonous meal for a few weeks – fresh fruit, mozzarella and tomato paninis, croissants and tea. I could have gotten used to that life…
But I was soon on a pothole filled road (with a very talented driver, SeƱor Lamb...thank you!) headed to be reunited with my long lost friend, Katie.  She has been serving in the U.S. Peace Corps in rural South Africa for the last 6 months.  I hugged her and kissed her and almost cried when I first saw her – she looked bubbly and cheery as always.  And surprisingly clean – my hope was that if that she could manage to smell like roses on a Sunday morning without any running water, then she could teach me the ropes too. J
Today I ask you to do one thing that puts you outside your comfort zone…do you think that milking a cow without any instruction was easy?  If you can't gather from the awkward photos, it was not.  Challenge yourself, do something different, and I promise you that at least you’ll feel alive and excited, something different from the routine of your daily life.  Good luck!

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