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Young Farmers Club trip to Kenya

Joy Cornock

Travelling with the Young Farmers Club has always been an aspiration of mine. My chosen destination was Kenya because I wanted to experience life in a developing country. There are many destinations available for YFC members including New Zealand, Australia, America, Canada and many more. Travelling on the trip were 11 other YFC members, 5 from Wales and 7 from England.

I stayed in a home with the Mwangi family near the town of Gatura. The home was remarkably similar to the old style cow shed although with no electricity, no running water, a fire to do the cooking and a toilet in a shed down the garden, which was merely a hole in the ground!

The scheduled livelihood activities included a tree planting session and preparation of nursery seedlings and planting vegetables. We helped to fetch the livestock from the pastures as well as lending a hand milking the cows. I was amazed that the cows stood still in the field and didn’t need to be tied up. Other livelihood activities included churning milk into butter, fetching water from the Muhare river and picking and weighing tea. As a sight-seeing visit we went to the Ngere tea factory. We also took part in a few cultural activities including the art of weaving mats and baskets (kiondos) and learning about traditional medicines.

During the tour we visited Karangi Primary School, Karangi Dispensary and Kimande Secondary School where many under-achieving children were studying in the summer holidays.

A few highlights of the trip were the visit to Hell’s Gate Safari witnessing lots of Zebra’s, warthogs, giraffes and hyenas; singing and taking part in the Church service; tasting the Tusker lager whilst experiencing the laid-back atmosphere at the Muchegi Pub and of course to end our trip we visited the world famous ‘Carnivore’s’ restaurant.

The trip has been an experience of a lifetime and I urge all Young Farmers members to take the opportunity to travel with the movement However, I would like to sincerely thank my sponsors for their generous support and encouragement. I was horrified to learn that all items of clothing given to Oxfam are not given directly to the families but are sold by the Government as a way of making money. Should any of you want to donate money, clothing or gifts directly to the families in the Aberdare region then please send to this address:

Julia Wanjiru Mwangi
Karangi Kiana Primary School
P.O. Box 176
Gatura Thika

Kindly sponsored by:
Fishguard & Goodwick Town Council
John Lewis and family, Spittal
Victoria Dwyer & Colin Davies, Fishguard
E H James ai’ gwmni, Fishguard
Dairy Care Ltd
Allpump water treatment services
Penybryn Motors, Letterston
Sarah’s Newsagents, Maenclochog
David Bowen & Co. Accountants
Gwilym J Morris & Son
Vergam Dental Practise
Mr & Mrs J Lewis, Little Newcastle
Enid White, Crete
B & M Morgan, Gwaun Garage
Mrs M P Jeffreys, Scleddau
Scleddau Community Council
Arfon and Myfanwy Williams, Maenclochog Hardware Store
Mr and Mrs G Thomas, Pantycoch
Gareth Raw Rees Memorial Award, NFU
Wern Road Motors

Shearing in New Zealand

Lowri Williams

Lowri Williams is a keen wool handling competitor and has competed on numerous occasions in the Royal Welsh Show. Lowri decided to travel to New Zealand to experience different farming traditions on the other side of the world. Having won the Gareth Raw Rees NFU Scholarship, this financially supported her hopes of travelling. Lowri is engaged to Gareth Evans, who is a member of the Welsh Team who will compete in the Golden Shears World Championships competition to be held during the Royal Welsh Show 2010. The Welsh team recently travelled to New Zealand to shear and to compete at their shows. This is Lowri's account of her time in New Zealand.

I arrived in New Zealand on the 25th of November to be greeted by 10 days of rain!!! This did not look promising for the forthcoming Season! However, by the 3rd of December the boys had started shearing.

8 of us lived in the Riverside - 5 of who were Welsh, 2 Scottish and 1 Australian. Gareth Daniel, Gareth Evans and I worked for Dean and Gillian Ball.

We worked consistently until the 24th of December, with a few exceptions due to bad weather, then we took 3 days off over the festive period to relax and SOCIALISE.

We then worked for another 3 days before we took a few days off to enjoy the New Year. We all travelled down to Toupo - there were approximately 15 of us from Te Kuiti there and here we had the opportunity to meet more Welsh people who were working in other parts of the Country.

Following the holidays, the both Gareth's and myself collected our things and travelled 2 hours to work in another area for the next 10 days. We were going on a 'Stay out' to an 8 stand shed in Te hapy where there were approximately 25000 sheep to be shaun. We were working from 5am to 5pm - therefore, it was very convenient that we were staying next to the shed. It was very nice to finish our work here on the 10th day and then travel back to Te Kuiti.

We then worked from this town until the end of January, which is when the work in this area begins to come to an end. Many of the other shearers were finishing and returning to Wales.

I arrived home on the 2nd of February and Gareth went down to the South Island to work. Here, he worked for Mark Conroy in Gore which was roughly 15 hours away.

The Welsh team had a number of shows to compete in whilst down in the South. Here, they competed against the New Zealand team (Johnny Kirkpatric and James Fagan) but unfortunately, no victory for the Welsh team.

The Welsh team had all arrived in time for the show in Gore - Bronwen Tango and Meinir Evans - the wool handling team and John Till for the Hand Shearing. The team Manager Bryan Pugh and his partner were also there.

On the 6th and 7th of February the Golden Shears Competition was being held in Marstaton. Cam Ferseson won the Open, which secured him a place in the New Zealand team for the World Championships.

Both Gareth's travelled to the show but unfortunately they were not successful.

Following their 7 weeks in the south - they returned to the North to compete yet again in another 3 shows.

There was a show in Taranaki on the final weekend in March and they then spend a few days in Te Kuiti before travelling to another show in Auckland.

The NZ Shears was the final show of the season - which was the show where the 2nd member of the New Zealand team was chosen for the World Champs in Wales 2010. People from across New Zealand travel to go to this show. Wales gained 2nd position in this test with James and Johnny winning.

There was great excitement in the final of the Open ,with shearers all having their hopes on becoming the 2nd member of the team who will travel to Wales. David Fagan was the successful shearer and along with Cam Feruson will be representing New Zealand in the World Champs in July.

Both Gareth's returned home on the 12th of April - having missed all the bad weather!

Pictures form New Zealand