Reading previous GDPU Peace Fellow blogs and sitting down with Emma and Patrick, I was able to get a sense of how previous handover ceremonies have been performed and what I could expect prior to the ceremony. I also asked if there was anything they would change to which Emma and Patrick expressed that the ceremonies have only provided a goat which would only be enough to feed the visitors and that the students would not be able to enjoy meat nor refreshments. With the increase in our budget to conduct the renovation of the existing ten stances and employ Emma to produce soap for the handover, we saw that there was enough money to do something extra special, buy a cow (and sodas!).
Upon my visit to the school last week for the training, I spent the lunch hour with the P7 boys, listening to music, talking, taking photos, and playing games. When I mentioned that the ceremony would be next week Friday, almost all the boys asked me if they would be getting meat. At the time, I wasn’t sure if we had money in the budget to buy a cow, so I told them honestly that I don’t know. They expressed to me how they eat the same food at school every single day (Monday – Sunday), porridge for breakfast, and posho and beans for lunch and supper. Knowing that getting to enjoy meat during the ceremony was something that the students were dreaming of and in a sense expecting, I did not want to disappoint.
Walter and I made the journey to visit two cow owners, one being a friend of Walter’s friend, while the other was a local butcher. The first car we visited was in Unyama, very deep in the bush. We were greeted by the owners son who walked us to see the cow, a beautiful white cow roughly 350 pounds.
After the first visit, we made our way to Layibi where we visited the butcher. I had imagined that his cow would be at a farm grazing on grass, but when we pulled up to the butchery I was not prepared for what I saw. Bloody cow horns, a dead calf, horrific conditions, and a smell that was so putrid I almost threw up.
It’s safe to say that we went with the white cow. I can’t wait to see everyone’s face at the handover when we surprise them with the cow; it will be a day we will never forget.
Posted By Kyle Aloof
Posted Jul 21st, 2022