Meet Jean Baptiste – he is an elderly man (no one knows how old) who has been a goat farmer with his brother for the last 6 years. He raises his goats to sell at market. His brother has been sick for a very, very long time. As I was leaving, Jean Baptist grabbed my hand and said, “the goat is everything to me.”

Then there is Yaya – a charming, outgoing grandmother of two. She was in the first class in 2003. She is raising her grandsons – selling her goats in how she sends them to school and feeds her family. Her doe has 3 kids at a time – one she keeps for meat, one she sells at market and the other she will rebreed.

Finally, meet Mr. and Mrs. Bazelais. He is a teacher, and helps his wife with the goats. She went to the training class. They have 6 children in the family. They showed me their pregnant doe – I learned the gestation period is 5 months. Mrs. Bazelais explained to me how they keep the goat meat fresh with no refrigeration – after slaughtering the goat, you rub the meat with salt and hang it to dry in the sun. It will keep for 2 weeks I was told. I was impressed to see that they had built their own cistern of rocks and had a PVC pipe to catch rainwater from their roof and funnel it into the cistern.

by Claire Barry

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