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Aprl 2007

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Horse Sickness Vaccinations
I have been busy this past month with vaccinating donkeys and horses in the townships against African Horse Sickness.   But a huge step has to be taken first - what most horse owners take for granted and do regularly once a year is a totally foreign concept to township owners.   A lot of explaining has to be done before you drop the bomb that one poor owner in Addo lost 5 donkeys to the dreaded disease in one fell swoop - he was absolutely devastated but allowed me to vaccinate his remaining 3 donkeys.  My diary makes for interesting reading with future dates for vaccination. Thank goodness for Isaac and his interpreting skills.

Funding
An application for a Grant in Aide from the Metro has been applied for, but will only be decided in the months to come and the final successful applicants will only get their requested funding next year!

Collection Tins
Tins have been deposited in various shops in the Metro, one of which gave up the stupendous amount of R150.55 and I believe that this was due to the Church Minister who was dropping R10 notes into the Tin because he wants to help the 'Jerusalem Ponies'.  

Country Trips
Visits have been made to Enon and Addo during the month and have been welcomed by the residents. And, boy, was it HOT!!  I never knew a place called Enon existed - a 90% unemployment rate.   One has to bear in mind that the donkeys represent transport and employment opportunities, so you can't just go in and vaccinate all a man's donkeys.   A schedule has been drawn up to try and circumvent total inactivity and lack of transport for 6 weeks!

Highway Horrors
On Family Day, 9th April, I was called to a 'donkey lying in the middle of the highway with another standing over it'.   On going to check I found that a foal had strayed onto the Highway and been hit on the jaw by a vehicle.  It was obvious that mummy had been standing over the foal after the accident to protect him.
 
With fabulous support from the NMMM Cowboys (the guys that move the livestock off the PE roads), the horsebox was delivered to me on the Highway, but not before I had collected the owner to fetch the third donkey.  With a bit of muscle from all of us, the horsebox was reloaded onto my bakkie (Great vehicle!) and ma and foal loaded.  Luckily for me and the donkeys, the Vet had had a frantically busy day and was just about to leave when I phoned ahead to say I was on my way.   The foal had some concussion, a large headache and severe bruising to the jaw and cheek, but thankfully, nothing was broken.  You are a star Imke!
 
And so there I was milking mummy to feed the foal that could not suckle.   I reckoned that if Fenix could milk a mare, so could I, and the mare was most obliging.  They do say there is a first time for everything!  Supplementation with Fat Free milk made all the difference and the foal and mother were returned to the owner a week later.  Thanks to all concerned.

Tack Donations
Mary Seales and I spent an entire afternoon going through donated tack and sorting it into a box per type, i.e. cheekpieces, poll pieces, reins, etc.   We were completely finished at the end of it all.    It is incredible the support we are getting on an ongoing basis from the horse riding fraternity in PE.  Thank you all.

Stable Management
One of my donkey owners in Walmer township is getting the picture!    This month he spent a couple of days setting up a stable and holding camp for his donkeys.   He arrived as I was finishing cleaning the Unit stables and hijacked me to come and look at his!!    Well done, Moses!

Lawnmowers
Question:  What do you get when you have a new landowner who inherited two donkeys with the property and that are now attacking her dogs and a man who just wants to give donkeys a good home with lots of grazing to be mowed.
 
Answer:  Two happy landowners, not to mention the donkeys!

Art Exhibition
What a treat!!  Heidi Kuhn Boekkooi, on hearing about the ECHCU township donkey work, set off on a mission!  To raise funds to help us help them.  She contacted all the artists and set them the project of 'doing a donkey' painting. And produce the goodies they did!
 
On the 24th April, I opened the Exhibition with a short speech and started off with the following poem:
 
The Donkey by G K Chesterton (from 'Stories Essays and Poems' by  G K Chesterton, published by Everymans Library)
 
When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born;
 
With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil's walking parody
On all four-footed things.
 
The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.
 
Fool!  For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.
 
Patrons of the Gallery and the Press and other interested parties were shown the current harnessing and then what would be First Prize, bits that had been confiscated (an offer has been received by someone who wants the fancy stuff  that could stop a warhorse never mind a donkey, to hang on her wall) and an ECHCU Collection Tin if they found that they would like to make a small change contribution.
 
What a delightful evening!  How lucky is the ECHCU to have friends like Heidi and Frans!  How great that the artists made such a contribution, some dropping their prices in order to get the sales so that the Unit can get a percentage of each sale!  Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

R.I.P ROBERT MDINGI - Walmer Carter
I will miss your assistance and ready jocularity and your smile.

Finally, thank goodness for public holidays!  I can catch up on bookwork before going to do the evening feed.
M
 

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