Monday, April 22, 2013
Friday, April 5, 2013
Most farming families in rural Egypt don't own a car, a tractor, or anything more complicated than a bicycle or a motorcycle. The family donkey is a vital and not always well-understood part of the farmer's equipment. Flies can cause eye and skin infections and flies are endemic in farming areas. Most of the farmers make a sort of makeshift halter/bridle using chain across the nose area. Chain is cheap and unbreakable but hard on the skin so there are a number of lovely women who make these nose fuzzies to cover the chain and shield the donkey's nose. The Donkey Sanctuary distributes locally made flymasks (thus also providing jobs in an economy that really needs them) when they join The Rural Wellness Initiative Egypt's mobile vet clinics on Tuesday afternoons. The Rural Wellness Initiative is a group based on Facebook that provides free medical care to farmers in the area near our farm. Our staff works on these trips as donkey hoof trimmers, cow wormers and chicken holders, while I am the chief goat hoof trimmer. These clinics are making a difference in the health of the farmers' animals and thus with their productivity.