Posts Tagged ‘goats’

Poznań, Poland: Goats in a Clock

May 20, 2011

For Poznań, the fifth largest city in Poland, I have more pictures than words. I didn’t stay very long and managed a quick walking tour on my own. It wasn’t too cold the first day, but it snowed on the second day.

Below you can see some photos of the main square, inside of one of the numerous churches in the church district and the old city walls. I wanted to visit the national museum and the Lech brewery but didn’t have the chance.

Old Market Square

Old Market Sqaure, Poznań, Poland. Image via Wikipedia

Church Interior, Poznan, Poland.

Church Interior, Poznań, Poland.

Poznan city walls.

Poznań city walls.

The highlight of my trip, however, wasn’t a church, a museum or even a mall. Nope, this time it was goats. Goats in a clock.

Poznań’s answer to Prague’s skeleton clock (also known as the astronomical clock) is a clock with goats atop the old Town Hall. There are a few versions of the story, but the central theme seems to be that, during a feast, two goats alerted the town to a fire that had just broken out in the town center. Because of the dueling goats, the townsfolk were made aware of the fire and able to put it out before any serious damage could occur.

Without further adieu, I present to you Poznań’s goats.

Poznan Goats from Steven Sirski on Vimeo.

You’ll notice at the end of the video you hear a trumpet playing. That melody is played in commemoration of a boy who awoke to see a gnome. The gnome gives him a bugle and tells him to blow it when he’s in trouble. Then the gnome turns into a crow and flies away. As luck would have it, some bad guys try to attack the city at night so he blows his horn and, well, the city is able to defend itself. This is the stuff of folk tales. Gnomes and crows and boys with bugles.

After Poznań, I ventured south to Wrocław, a city that would prove to be one of my favourite cities in all of Poland.

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Merry Christmas! And about those goats…

December 25, 2010

I know it’s a bit late in the day, but I just wanted to make a quick post to wish you a Merry Christmas! Did you remember to track Santa with NORAD?

I hope you and yours have a great and safe holiday season. Enjoy your time together since you never know where the next year will take you (for me, last year it was Busan, 2011 might be Poland/Ukraine!)

My family did something a little different this year. Instead of exchanging gifts we bought goats. My brothers and sister raised enough cash to buy one herd, our Dad matched that and added one more, which was then matched by the Government of Canada and other organizational donors bringing us to a total of six herds. (If you buy a herd they also send along some boy goats so they can, um, well, propagate the species.)

So, sometime soon, a bunch of families in Africa will be receiving goats, goat training, assistance with breeding them wild beasts, animal shelters and various drugs and supplies to help the goats be productive. Plan Canada, the company through which we bought our goats, apparently keeps 20% of the money for operating costs, other than that, it’s all goat milk from there.

Ah, for those of you wondering where this idea came from, well, my sister saw a documentary called Where’s My Goat?, about this guy, Christopher Richardson, who buys an “ethical gift” from Plan Canada. Curious to know if its the real deal or a scam, he goes to Africa to find out. Although I have yet to see it, you can find some more information about it on the website. A write-up about the documentary on the University of King’s College website gives a glimpse of the controversial nature of this “ethical gift” giving. I’m eager to see it.

Filmmaker tracks down his gift to an Africa family, a goat.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!


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