After the second meeting, I had a list of all the grandmothers and what animals they chose to receive. It is probably the most interesting shopping list I’ve ever had:
My co-worker Joseph and I got to the village of Buwaiswa on Wednesday afternoon, and were immediately greeted by Mama Lillian, who helps out at the orphanage. Mama Lillian conveniently had eight piglets ready to be sold, we could have first pick if we so chose. Done.
This gave us time to go around on foot (anything else was impossible) and visit some of the grandmothers who wanted goats. Three of them had even done shopping on their own and found goats for us to buy.
That night we went into the trading center of Busota to see if we could find an animal salesman named Dadi. He supposedly had a bunch of goats waiting to be sold. After we arrived in Busota and were mobbed by kids who hadn’t seen a white person before, we eventually found his assistant. He confirmed that Dadi had some goats ready to sell; the only problem was that he wasn’t in town. We would need to come back tomorrow. We exchanged phone numbers and then hitched a ride back to Buwaiswa.
The next morning, we took an early tea and then ventured up to Busota again. Dadi was still missing. His phone wasn’t getting any reception (no surprise), so we just had to wait. And wait. After repeated attempts, we finally got Dadi on the phone long enough to find out that he was technically sold out of goats at the moment, which was why he was frantically driving around trying to find more.
Back to square one. This was going to be a long day. Our boda-boda driver told us that he had an idea, which was as good as anything, so we pulled a u-turn and headed back past Buwaiswa. Along the way, we found a chicken farmer and made his day. He finished the transaction sixteen chickens lighter and 105,000 shillings richer.
The goat dealer we found didn’t have any either, but he at least knew where to get some. We found a tree for some shade and sat down as he took our boda driver off into the bush. Over the next hour, he came back four times with a goat on his lap, tied it to a stump, and headed off in another direction. On the fifth trip, he hopped off, tied up the last goat, and walked over to us.
“That’s all I could find.”
I was impressed. Five goats in an hour. That’s twelve minutes per goat!
After this stroke of luck, things were looking good. In war, what we did next is called “mopping up.” For the rest of thursday and friday, we just meandered around on foot and found the last four goats.
Our shopping was over. We called the grannies. They needed to help bring in groceries.