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When we arrived in New Zealand last September, we wanted to get out of the city (Auckland) and see the real New Zealand, so when we saw an advertisement saying "farm stay, kiwi family, must love animals" we knew we had found the job for us.
When we called about the job it must of been fate as the job had been filled already but the couple dropped out just 5 minutes before the phonecall, so off to Whakatane we were.
So after 6 hours of travelling down from Auckland, including running around Rotorua in torrential rain looking for a present for our hosts, we finally arrived at the farm and were greated by 3 very friendly labradors and a host of newly born calves.
Following an evening of getting to know the family and a great roast dinner, we were sent to work bright and early the following morning, and I was in for a little suprise. A little nervous at the start I began moving along the row milking, the 3rd cow along decided to give me a little welcome to farming all over my head, by this point I knew what I had let myself in for but ahh well all I could do was laugh.
Now I am not going to account for every day of the 6 weeks we spent on the farm so I thought I would list some of our favourite funny and most memorable moments whilst in Whakatane.
1. 3 Little pigs- Half way through our stay at the farm, 3 little pigs arrived in potato sacks and we quickly became very attached to them. One of our first experiences with these cheeky animals was chasing one of them on the first day around the farm after it somehow managed to escape, and let me tell you one thing pigs can run, and I mean run. Despite the difficult start, the pigs beacame firm favourite and in the end we managed to teach them their names and make them sit for the favourite food, strangely oranges.
2. Family holiday- one of the highlights of our stay at the farm was being invited on a camping holiday to Bowentown with our host family and their children and grandchildren, we were really made to feel part of the family with barbaques, hungis (a moari way of cooking involving stones and an underground pit, however in this case a beer barrell was used) and fishing trips. This was one of the main reasons that we would recommend staying with a kiwi family whilst on a working holiday, you are geniunally made to feel a part of the family.
3. The escaped cow- So for the first time the farmer had trusted us with bring in the newly born calf and its mother. At first everything seemed to be going supprinsgly well, with our quad biking skills helping us to round the mother and bring her down towards her new padock. However cow 165 as she was known had other ideas and decided to jump over the electric fence and start heading down towards the road. Myself in a state of panic decided to chase after the cow (BAD IDEA!!!!), the cow just began to run faster and faster (and like the pigs she could move), so my next move was to slide under and electric fence and try and catch the cow without her noticing. However as this was happening, I turned and noticed the farmers car coming up the drive (perfect timing there Peter). Luckily the cow slowed down before she caused a major traffic accident and all was well
This has definaltly been the highlight of our trip so far.
Submitted by: Alexander Hannay Date submitted: 5/02/2013 3:54:09 a.m.