From the Field

Almost like heaven

Almost like heaven

June 11, 2024 / World Poultry Foundation / Share:

This story is one in a series from Frances Chisholm highlighting stories of lives impacted by World Poultry Foundation programs and workshops both in the U.S. and abroad. We encourage you to learn more about Ms. Chisholm and our poultry projects in South Africa.

Thabo Nkomo admits he was flummoxed initially by some aspects of American life, like self-service checkout at supermarkets and gas stations, setting up mobile phone service. But invariably someone would appear to explain and assist, often noticing, “Oh, you’re not from here.” “People are so friendly, so helpful!” he exclaimed, “I’m loving the place.”

The young farmer, who hails from Zimbabwe, is training for a year at a Missouri poultry farm under the auspices of the World Poultry Foundation. Outgoing and curious, Thabo found his footing fast. Passing his driving test on the first try (“It was so easy”), he ended up “talking poultry” with the tester, a poultry man himself.

At the farm, Thabo is intrigued by the technology, “I had never seen eggs being moved on conveyor belts,” he said, and equally impressed by the farm’s biosecurity measures. He quickly mastered fixing cages and changing conveyor belts, which elicited a comment from his boss, “You’re so fast.” Thabo beamed.

He also seems to have become a fixture in the neighborhood, playing ball with the locals in the long late-spring daylight and fielding a lot of questions about Zimbabwe. “People think Africa is a country. They have never heard of Zimbabwe. They ask if we have schools and hospitals.” No question puts Thabo off. He aims to represent his home country well.

In his first weeks in the US, Thabo is finding American life soft. “The job is easy, you don’t get as tired as at home.” After asking a neighbor how to use the air fryer and rice cooker that came with his accommodation, he exclaimed, “This country is really nice, I can do four things at once: cook my meat in the air fryer, cook the rice, wash and dry my laundry, and all while watching TV! It’s almost like I’m in heaven!”

It sounds as if you’ll have a very rich year, Thabo. Keep up your fantastic open attitude, soak up every learning opportunity, and enjoy!

Ms. Frances Chisholm
Friend & Supporter of the WPF
Learn More About Frances

The Zimbabwean interns participate on a J-1 visa exchange visitor program sponsored by the WISE Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Dyersburg, Tennessee.