It’s a Beautiful Day – Let’s get to Work
New Zealand (NZ) is one of those countries that no matter where you are and which way you look, the views are simply astonishing. Especially if you take time to enjoy the sights of the sunrise and sunset over the outspread multilayered mountain ranges; accompanied perhaps with a glass of their local Marlborough wine in the evenings and you just couldn’t ask for anything better!
Picture of NZ Sun.
As I found myself mesmerized by the sun, I thought about how it was the same one that would bring light to a new day back in Canada. Then set over a view of snow-covered fields and frosty trees. Then rise again over the sea to bring new light for me on the other side of the world. By the end of it all, I smile because I know it’s not only about how many sunrises or sunsets we live to see but in the everlasting appreciation that it, the sun, brings all things to life. Maybe I think this way because of my grass-roots and agricultural ties. Without the sun we would not have plants and without plants we would not be able to eat and if we are not able to eat then we would not be able to live. There’s no fun in not living, so why not love the sun?!
When you first walk into a room full of strangers, what do you do? Do you judge them and keep your distance or do you go up to them and introduce yourself? Meeting new people is easier for some than others. I’ve always enjoyed making everyone feel important and quite enjoy going up to random people to strike up a new conversation. Funny thing is that I honestly believe that everything happens for a reason and sometimes you’ll unexpectedly discover great new friends that way. I meet so many people when I travel that for the most part I will probably never see or hear from them again, others become friends on Facebook, while very few grow into ever-lasting friendships. I feel blessed to have spent each opportunity simply having a good time with so many people from around the world. Having the privilege to be a Nuffield scholar continues to surprise me. Meeting special individuals along the way has given me the opportunity to think open-mindedly and accept things that I may have questioned beforehand.
Nicola Waugh is a new kiwi friend and fellow Nuffield scholar of mine. From small town Kimbolton, near Palmerston North, we traveled together for a week’s time. After helping out with the young farmers’ competition she showed me the area where she grew up. I was pleased to meet her parents Tony & Joyce and enjoyed a good laugh while watching ‘Farmer Wants a Wife’ one night on the tv. (Now there is a show that I’m surprised North America hasn’t picked up yet. But then again they would probably find a way to corrupt to the poor farmer’s heart with today’s typical melodramatic episodes. I wouldn’t oppose the ‘Farmerette Wants a Husband’ version though!)
Nevertheless my favorite part in small home-town tours would have to be without a questions visiting Nana’s house? Nicola and I made time one afternoon to see how Nana was doing. If I remember correctly Nana will be turning 94 years old this July! She still lives in town and in her own home alone. She manages to keep things in good order and it was neat to see the living room still decorated with various, old porcelain figurines. I was very impressed with her ability to prepare a simple basic supper for herself of carrots, potatoes, pumpkin and broccoli all cooked in the microwave and one chicken breast, spiced then cooked in a little oven. Her mobility was good and she remembered almost everything we talked about. For a 93-year-old woman you could tell there wasn’t much holding her back. I enjoyed listening to her soft-spoken, high-pitched voice as she asked Nicola all sorts of questions about the family and her upcoming travels. I enjoy visiting grandma’s because they always have such distinctive characters and are charismatic in unexpected ways.
Picture of Nicola and her Nana.
My time with the Waugh family was greatly appreciated as I received home cooked meals and had the chance to catch up on laundry. Their hospitality was exceptional and I will forever remember my brief stay in their beautiful home. Nicola and I then ventured back to Christchurch where her sister Liz and brother Sam picked us up.
We drove to a farm site near Ashburton belonging to Liz’s partner, Andrew Scott. As a young farmer working for a local arable and vegetable grower, he is ambitious towards growing his own lambing operation. The task at hand for the afternoon was to ‘drench’ (aka – process) his small starter herd of 400 lambs. After ‘mustering’ (aka – rounding up) the lambs by foot we divided the jobs up; Liz drenched them (liquid de-wormer treatment), Sam tagged them and I shot them… with only a couple cc’s of Vitamin B12 that is. The dirty little buggers were jumpy and very energetic. It was a challenge no doubt but good fun was had and we managed to get the job done in good time.
Pictures of Lambs, Sam, Liz & I.
By days end it was nice to relax by the fireplace after feasting on yet another delicious lamb roast with pumpkin and vegetable sides. Farm, school, and travel conversations filled the room. As I took a look outside, I saw the sun fading over the trees and smiled once more. Today was a beautiful day and we worked hard. I made new friends and have more stories to share. Tomorrow is a new day but until then I am grateful for today.