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Jon’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 22 Jul 2006

Location: Waipawa, New Zealand

MapClosing day at the sheep farm. I have been very fortunate to have spent two weeks here on the farm. I have to say I will be missing it. It was such a good experience as I learned many things. I have learned that sheep farmers ski a lot in the winter, dogs actually can listen when told what to do, the only thing dumber then a sheep is what chases it (quoted by Ian), discovered new fruit, pancakes with brown sugar, margarine and freshly squeezed lemon on top!, discovered that kiwis aren't really that good at pool (Jon 2, Brian 0), hot water bottles are essential when living without central heating, and a lot about sheep. Living with the McCoskery family for two weeks was very relaxing. I liked there system of making plans as the day unfolded. No set plans just wing it for the day. We shared many laughs together and had a great time shadowing Brian to his many nights of being supper active man, playing badminton on Tuesday and Wednesdays and going to a weight class on Thursday followed by table tennis, snowboarding Monday and Tuesday etc. and playing billards out at the beach house.
The last few days here at the farm it has been extremely rainy and not to good for the new born lambs. They all seem to have died due to the wet cold weather. The farm here only had about 30 lambs out and they haven't started lambing yet, but a neighbor down the way was half way through and probably lost hundreds of lambs. I guess it's all part of farming. By November the lambs have to weigh in at 30 kgs. So if they do wait for the warmer weather to lamb then the lambs may not have enough weight on them, as well they are more acceptable to disease (blood poisoning etc). Lambs sell here in New Zealand for about $50-80 ($38-60 Can) and sheep can have 1 - 2 lambs in one year. Here at the farm they were trying a new thing of shearing the sheep in the winter before lambing to make it easier for the birth. So they sheared in late june, early july and will shear again in Jan-Feb. Many interesting things though.
Today the German girls (Terressa and Jana) and I move up the North Island to Napier. I have 11 days left and I will be home, very excited. But till then I will be on the road, touring, kind of like a rock-star minus the sold out shows, fans, and the girls. but you know what i mean. Cheers