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Living literally hand to mouth

When I left you last time, I was in India and about to go up to Sikar in Rajasthan to run a Harness Making Course for the local donkey owners. The run up was far better as Sadagi, the taxi driver, now has a newer Tata and took a different road, which knocked about 2 hours off the drive. He explained that as we weren't going to our normal destination he'd changed the route. Since both destinations are only half an hour apart I found this a little confusing, but, when travelling abroad I usually find it easier to smile and go with the flow.

Your charity has taught me to fish

Now sitting in my hotel room in Delhi, writing up reports, and getting ready to travel by road to Sikar, in Rajasthan tomorrow (around 7 hours in a Tata car) with one of my favourite people, the taxi driver Sadagi. I'm going up there to run a two week harness making course for the local donkey owners, whose present harness causes massive wounds to the donkeys, not only inflicting the animals with what must be agonising pain, but also putting them in a position where they actually die, often from tetanus.

Harnessing the strain

On the morning of Sunday 20th July, I was picked up by our team to drive to Kodaia, a small village outside Cairo in Egypt on the edge of the brick kiln area that supplies many of the workers. It was the team’s first visit, with an exceptional turnout of 220 donkeys.

Farid (SPWDME AHA and harness maker) and I worked non-stop, mostly making and altering head collars, but also repairing two saddles. After work, we went to see a family of saddlers in the next town who had been making some new harness under Farid’s guidance.

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