Follow the Goats 1: Departure

Follow the Goats 1: Departure | World Vision Blog

As we Follow the Goats this Advent, read Grampa Goat's travel blog as he and Billy explore how goats are helpful to people around the world.

Setting off for Mongolia, then to Burundi and Zambia, see why Grampa Goat is taking this trip, and why he's excited to tell you all about it!

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He-eeeeeeeeeeeey, everyone! My name is William, but you can call me Grampa. That’s what Billy calls me, my grandkid (sometimes I just call him Kid). We’re goats, and we’re from Seattle!

Tonight, Kid and I are leaving for a trip around the world! We’ll be traveling first to Mongolia, then to Burundi and on to spend Christmas in Zambia, to see for ourselves how goats live in other parts of the world. We’re excited to explore their cultures, and especially to see how our cousins help people by being an essential part of the communities where World Vision is working.

Billy is planning to take lots of photos (though he’s only packed his phone), and will be emailing them to a photo album on the World Wide Web he calls the Instagram, so you can see what we’re seeing on our trip there. I’m more comfortable with the written word; you’ll find my travelogue here on World Vision’s Blog as we go. We’ll also be recording a series of videos so you can be right there with us as we experience the world. I hope you’ll follow along!

Now, a little about me. I’ve lived all 17 years of my good, long life in and around Seattle. I’ve always loved how wide and green everything is, and how our skies are always lined with mountains. In my youth, I served as a pack-goat, helping to lead groups of hikers and adventurers into the mountains, carrying some of their burden (they only walk on two legs, you know).

Later in my career, I worked to help keep the roads and sidewalks of Seattle clear of weeds and garbage. A few times, I even had the opportunity to help clean up demolition sites and be part of rebuilding the city. Goats are noble creatures, you know; nothing makes us more proud than being helpful.

That’s why I’m so excited about our trip! After my long and satisfying career, I’ve just celebrated my retirement. But I’ve only ever lived in the Pacific Northwest; I’ve always heard amazing stories about how goats in other far away places have their own unique ways of being helpful to the people that take care of them.

Of all of the stories we’ve heard over the years about global goats, one of the common themes I noticed among my favorites of them was World Vision. For many generations, goats have helped feed people. But I’ve heard that World Vision finds innovative ways to use goats (and other animals, too) to fully transform the lives of people in need—children, families, and even whole communities! Those goats must be so proud to share in the big dreams of these people!

That’s what we’re setting off to witness: how World Vision goats in Mongolia, Burundi, and Zambia (the countries where the goat stories seemed especially amazing!) help transform the lives of people just by being goats.

Of all the jobs I’ve had here in Seattle, they were helpful and I’m proud of my work. Some were eco-friendly, some were a bit adventurous. But none of them were lifesaving. When I think of my cousin goats overseas, one of the things I’ve been wondering is what is it like to be really important and critical for life? I hope we’ll find out.

In Mongolia, first we’ll visit goats who are helping families survive the long, cold winters.

Next, we’ll head to Africa. In Burundi, goats are particularly involved with agriculture, helping families grow more nutritious food to keep their children healthy and happy.

And finally, in Zambia we’ll meet three special goats who have become business partners with an amazing woman. Over time, together, they have truly changed the lives of those around them. I can’t wait to meet them!

Kid and I are really excited to get on the road. And a little impatient—it’s a long journey! If you’re excited and impatient, too, you don’t have to wait until Christmas to be helpful: you can give a goat like us through World Vision’s Gift Catalog today to a family that needs a business partner or some extra nutrition.

Or you can sponsor a child and be a helpful part of his or her life, just like goats are every day!

And make sure to follow along with our journey this Advent. Who knows what adventures lie ahead!


*This post and characters are a work of fiction by Matthew Brennan.

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