This blog will be an updating post of what has occurred within the Pearson community over the past while. This includes Project Week, One World, and post-One World. Enjoy!
So a couple of weeks ago, we had our second project of the year. This time, instead of choosing to spend large quantities of money and experiencing the large, stressful city of Vancouver, I chose to stay closer to home. I decided to stay in Metchosin and live on a sheep farm for a week. The family has been affiliated with Pearson as a host family and Project Week destination for many, many years so immediately I felt right at home. Also, it is lambing season so we got to spend much time learning about births and watching them, which was very interesting. Also, there is nothing cuter than lambs!
The fellow students on my project week were again all first years but it was a smaller group and we got along much better – there was no tension at any moment whatsoever! It was awesome. I was with my great friend Linda and BC co-year from Penticton as well as Jessica from London, England and Charles from Ghana. Our personalities all got along really well which definitely contributed positively to the week.
I remember the first day on the farm. After we had settled in and had a lovely spread of sandwiches and home-made soup, we all got a tour of the barn and a quick overview of everything. Then, John and Lorraine, our host family, got a little busy and directed us to watch after a sheep that was going to give birth soon. It definitely is a waiting game and much longer than the birth itself. From the moment the placenta starts to come out until the moment the first lamb is out has a duration of between thirty minutes and an hour and a half, depending. It was hilarious and a little shock-inducing when John and Lorraine simply told us, in the most non-chalant manner, that “to just watch if the lamb comes out with its head resting on its front hooves and when it slips out, just take the sack off of its face so it can breath”. From that moment, I knew I would love my project week since our host family seemed to be so relaxed and have so much faith in us already.
The rest of the week we stayed mostly on the farm and its properties that are spread out over Metchosin. Being a sheep farmer, or any sort of farmer, is expensive so, in fact, John and Lorraine don’t own many of their fields or even the beautiful, yellow, Victorian-style home that they’ve lived in for twenty years now. It’s all rented and loaned from other people of Metchosin and because they do so much for the people (they supply local lamb and mutton as well as good wool), there are never any complaints and withdrawals of field-loaning, etc. I learned that most of the empty fields we see in Metchosin get populated with the sheep and their babies in March and they are all John and Lorraine’s. I had the chance twice to go to the fields with the truck that distributes the sheep and lambs after they’ve spent enough time recuperating in the barn and getting used to their babies and making sure the lambs are healthy.
It’s actually quite a process to get the sheep and lambs to their new fields. After tagging the lambs and and counting them (a sheep might be number 123 and so its babies will subsequently have the same numbers), the lambs are taken and put into a smaller pen within the truck’s larger pen. It’s very loud and distressing to do this business of separating lamb from mother – the lambs bleat loudly and the sheep “baa” and run around frantically, literally knocking us humans aside all the while. Depending on the amount of sheep that gave birth, this process can take up to forty-five minutes each morning.
John and Lorraine were very lovely and did a lot for us and I must admit that I’ve developed quite a close relationship with them. Lorraine taught us Marimba, which is a wooden Zimbabwean instrument, and it was very fun. By the end of the week, the four of us had mastered two songs almost to the point of perfection.
Mid-week through our project, on Wednesday, the four of us went to the BC Legislature as Linda has a connection with Andrew Weaver, the Green Party MLA, from her last project week which was volunteering in his parliamentary office. It was really quite interesting and fun to meet Andrew and his employees. We also got an official introduction during the Question Period so now our names and countries are eternalized in the legislative minutes as well as on provincial television!
Overall, the project week was quite formidable.
From left to right: Linda (BC), Charles (Ghana), Jessica (England), and myself. This is in the cafe in Metchosin.
Me and Jessica playing with the lambs.
For those of you who don’t know, One World is the huge diversity performance that Pearson College puts on every year. Despite the stress and pressure it induces upon the students, in the end the entire affair proved to be a wholly bonding experience for the community. Unfortunately, someone has taken the hard drive that had all of the One World videos so I have no videos to show anybody. However, I do have some photos! The acts I was in included the General Choir, Umoja (African Dance), Chinese Umbrella Dance, and Gumboot.
Gumboot, which is an exhausting dance.
Umbrella Dance group photo.
Umoja African Dance.
From left to right: Elias (Finland), myself, and Sawsan (Palestine). Between acts, we were starving and Elias gave me his Starbucks drink and Sawsan her apple. You can see that I just finished gumboot.
Me and my co-year Linda. This is an apt representation of our relationship. She is wearing a traditional Hungarian costume and myself a Scottish one.
After One World, things really got underway. The second years currently don’t have a lot of work as their classes end next week and by consequence don’t have a lot of homework. However, as a first year, I am very busy. I have multiple projects to do, including a Theory of Knowledge Presentation, my Extended Essay, a Math Internal Assessment, plus studying for exams in May. Since then, we have also had an artistic night called Nuit Blanche where art pieces were displayed and there was a night that included many skits, musical acts, and performances. We have also had House Olympics which my house won! We won a giant trophy made out of crispy rice squares. Sadly, though, we placed fourth out of four in the Golden Shoe, a soccer tournament between houses.
This weekend, I am going to my sheep farm host family again which I am really looking forward to. It will be a nice relaxing weekend to get homework done and I am also not very far from Pearson which is lovely.
It’s also first year season! If any potential UWCers or newly-selected students are interested in my UWC experience, I am more than willing to answer your questions.
Lots of love,