19 I kept my promise and cleaned the pigs out, well helped!

I like to try to take a full part in life in Uganda and succeed most of the time but today was one of those days when my energy and my body let me down a little! Innocent looks after his pigs so well and always puts their welfare first before anything else. Though he took what I said with a twinkle in his eye, I had promised to clean them out and feed them at some point during my stay and as I was rapidly running out of days, tomorrow I leave Nawanyago, today was the day!

I heard the pigs getting excited so knew that Innocent was already with them and I hadn’t even had my breakfast! I threw on the clothes I wore yesterday and ventured down to the piggery. Innocent had a grin on his face that told me he didn’t think I would even turn up! He demonstrated how to clear out all the pig muck and then I set to, feeling it didn’t look too difficult. BUT just getting into each enclosure was a challenge for me with my wonky knees, having to bend low through the gates while at the same time watching that the pigs didn’t make a run for freedom! Then the home-made broom Inno had was pretty useless when attached to my arthritic hand! It was just a bunch of sticks tied together and I kept flicking the pooh onto me instead of into the pan (an old jerry can cut in half)! I was instructed to scrape the trodden down pooh with the bricklayers trowel. Not easy! Added to all this the adults pigs in particular Norman Pig the father of all the piglets, seem to enjoy chewing my crocs! He is one biiiiiiiig pig!

I think I only cleaned out three of the front pens and even then they were not good enough for my good friend the pig farmer who followed me finishing the job! So admitting defeat I willingly let Innocent take over especially as I would have had to climb over the wall to get to the pens at the back! I spent the remainder of the cleaning schedule saying hi to each and every one of the pigs and piglets. Most had been given a name. Gerry was heavily pregnant and I felt quite sorry for her; Norman was huge but very friendly. It made me laugh how he followed Innocent around, standing on his hind legs to see as far as possible, and he loved his ears being tickled and collapsed at my feet in ecstasy! I’m sure I heard him purring like a cat! Then there is Marie, Tony, Anna-Marie and Holly who sponsored Innocent through his education along with Ruth and recently Liz. Other friends and family were also given this honour and it amazed me how Innocent remembered who was who especially the younger pigs that to me looked the same!

Last job was to walk to the shallow well to get water to swill out the stys and for the pigs to drink. It wasn’t too long a walk but I was conscious that I looked a right site and probably smelt terrible too! The shallow well is basically a small muddy pool and I was cafeful not to stand too close! Thank goodness Innocent and his neighbours are lucky enough to have a safe water source nearby, the village borehole. I enjoyed my ‘shower’ when we had finished the pigs and always appreciate the water that is fetched for me!

Photos in next post!


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