Monday, July 30, 2012

Hawai'ian sheep

The Beatons, who generously hosted half of our ten students

also had us help with a little bit of farmwork.

The Beaton's had recently imported a slew of ewes from California.
Bloodlines on the island can get a little concentrated
and bringing new bloodlines from the mainland
can help but there is a serious quarantine process to follow.

These ewes had been having alone time
for 30 days before we arrived.
Now it was time take some bloods off them
and see which ones were pregnant.

Jill Beaton is the sheep person on the farm.
These are her babies.

Our kids are pretty used to farm work
being off farms and all.
They are also well used to be given jobs,
handling animals and getting hands dirty.

Johanna was the queen of the sheep pen.

Let's note something very interesting here.
In New Zealand farmers wear short shorts,
often all year round.
If they get cold they wear thermal leggings under their short shorts.
The reason for this is simply that long pants - jeans, moleskins, whatever
get wet easily not mention really dirty.
Skin however does not.
Skin you can dry off and magically you are all set to go again.
There is no need to wear long pants cause
there is nothing worse than trugging around in wet clothes
so in NZ less is more helpful.
Just saying.
You can spot the difference between the Kiwis and
the Hawaiians easily by leg wear.

The kids are used to working like this in all weathers.

Nicola out all of us is probably the most used to inclement weather
coming from Wallacetown, Southland.

The Beaton's place is high above Paauilo.
Up in the clouds mostly.
At the moment they are in extreme drought
so any moisture from the air is fab.
But just to repeat Hawaii is a temperate climate
and in the places we spent much of our time it was cool.
And damp.
Not really wet, just incisively damp
in the most pleasant of ways of course.
Hawai'i is very pleasant.

Tissa in charge of the chalk and something else.

Steph and Nic recording which sheep had what done.

Tissa having a whale of a time handling the ewes.

Kids everywhere doing a good job
of wrangling ewes and worming them
then letting the adults take the blood
which was handed to me to collect and record.
Until it got too wet and my illegible writing became truly unreadable.

Thomas catching a ewe ready have her jugular vein relieved of some blood.

Then we all jumped on an ATV
and raced back to the ranch house for a towel down
(remember theres a drought and limited water so no showers)
before relaxing on the couch.

These are their normal faces.

On July 5th Louly and I took ten young New Zealand farm kids to Hawaii for an agricultural exchange for two weeks. They are members of the NYZF TeenAg programme. We were hosted by East Hawaii 4H specifically the Beatons and Stouts. We visited many kinds of agricultural and horticultural operations, varied and diverse, learned that American ag folks like to philosophise about their place in the world and had a great time snorkeling and shopping in the sun. These posts are in no particular order cause I was too busy to post while in Hawaii and can be rather abstract and should only be taken as an inaccurate at best record.

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