01.07.2009 - 03.07.2009
Ok, so the internet has been down for a couple days. Here’s the plan. Maybe once a week I will log on and tell you what is going on. I feel awfully guilty borrowing someone else’s computer, even though I suppose I shouldn’t, but I’m going to take some time to get you all up to speed.
So all of these farm animals I have never worked with before. I milk cows, feed pigs, feed chickens, and get eggs from the chicken coop. That’s the everyday barn stuff (even though I already probably told you that). Three times a week we sell the eggs, milk, and meat at different markets. So this past Saturday we went to Cork for a market. I was able to walk around the city with Anne and Anna (the other volunteers). I helped out with the selling, but I am awfully bad with the currency, even though it’s extremely straight forward. A woman gave me 20 euro for something like 3.50, and I gave her 26 euro back in change. And I thought I was good at math.
Sunday I went to Kilarney, another town/city about an hour and a half drive from the farm. In the depths of the woods, in the middle of a quarry, there was a selling and buying of rare hens. It was the weirdest location ever, and the birds were so unlike anything I’ve seen before. I’m terrified of chickens, but they were all in cages, so I could breathe. From there we went to see a castle and an old historic house (both gorgeous), and we took a long walk through a national park. After that we took a drive through the Irish mountains which were BREATHTAKING! I was in complete awe. I took some pictures too. There were sheep all up in the mountains and along the side of the car.
By the way, the person who took us around is this guy named Franci who works on the farm. He’s about 45 and has this awesome thick accent, and he’s completely nutty. He likes to drop the F-bomb all the time, and I always giggle. He told me my relatives (McKennas) are gypsies from the north, that like horses (selling them), and they’re mad (crazy). Apparently they’re trained fighters (boxers), too. I got a kick out of that! Anyhoo, Franci is a hoot, and he mentioned that there is the largest horse fair in Ireland on Sunday. We might go, because apparently my crazy fighting relatives will be there… along with 1000 horses or so (YAY)!
Today was a first for so many things. I milked 2 cows BY MYSELF today. The girls also sent me up into the chicken coop BY MYSELF to retrieve eggs. I was breathing so heavy cause I was so scared, but I managed. I still have yet to reach under a chicken’s butt to retrieve eggs, but I was able to get some. I also saw my first rat and just about cried. Seriously. I also cleaned pig pens today for the first time. The smell was so awful that I gagged and dry-heaved once. Wasn’t afraid of the pigs though! The most exciting part was moving the cattle. We herded them out of the field, into the road, and down into a shed. There were at least 50 of them. That was really cool. The bad part though, was that they were being moved to be selected to sent to the slaughter house. Ten were sent off and 5 each were jammed into 2 different trailers that are smaller than trailers that can only carry 2 horses! Seeing that happen made me really sick to my stomach, but I can’t do anything about it. That’s life. We also herded sheep for the same thing.
I’ve been to 2 pubs since I’ve been here. I had Bulmer’s, the Irish hard cider and I had my first Guiness last night at the highest pub in Ireland. That’s about it for right now!
I really don’t know when I will be able to post pictures. They might have to be posted after I return home. Or, if I can get to an internet cafe, I will do that then. I miss everyone terribly. I am sorta homesick because some of these jobs are mentally really challenging for me (seeing as I’m afraid of almost every animal here). But, I am here for another month, and as much as it is challenging, I am happier that I am here. I still actually can’t believe I’m in Ireland. It’s like it’s too good to be true.
On a completely different and random note, I saw fake boobs hanging from the staircase in the main house today. No one else saw them, which baffles me, but not as much as why they are there. That shall remain a mystery!