Took the grade 1 and 2’s to the farm last Thursday, big animals and tiny children. Opportunities were many for Angelina’s overactive imagination and protective mother instincts.
We approached the pigpen with much banging and thrashing about, as you never know where army ants may be marching. Seventeen children and 3 adults crowd around a narrow opening from which waifs a must unpleasant odour. This odour is commented and expounded on by each and every child present. From the back of the pack I spot the objects of this bouquet for the senses: A honkin’ big mama pig and her wee ones.
You would think that distance would be one thing that the children would crave, especially in light of the aforementioned comments regarding the STINK! One adventurous child at the front of the pack asks our tour guide, “Can I hold one?” Within minutes three squealing piglets were being clenched by tight fingers as far as possible from the bodies of the holders. Amazingly only one piglet was dropped. Miss P----- performed a daring rescue as it tried to rush through her legs. After the piglet was safely deposited in it’s home I applauded her efforts and insinuated that she had, had previous experience catching pigs. She confided in me that this was in fact her first catch and was one borne of desperation.
At the horses our tour guide again took initiative and let all the kids into the fenced area while the teachers were too far behind to object to any possible safety hazards or to instil in the children a fear of anything 10 times their own weight. By the time we arrived inside the gate children were running, yelling, petting, walking behind the horses and generally not thinking. One would think that the tour guide would have been safety precaution enough but seeing as he didn’t speak the same language as 75% of the children he was commandeering you can understand our nervousness.
As we left the area (with all the kids in one piece minus some socks that got scarred off when the horses ‘charged’) you can be sure that I delivered a stellar speech on proper safety precautions one must take when on a farm. Slightly humorous, as I am a city girl who has no idea about farm life and even less of an idea of what constitutes high risk activity on a farm. Along that train of thought I’m not too sure I’d even be a fair judge of what is high risk in any situation. My motto: better safe than sorry!
Next we watched the cows being milked, again, eventful in my imagination and uneventful in actual catastrophic happenings. Did force Yahia to hold my hand as he kept running behind the cows and straying into off limit areas. Nothing much happened at the lambs/sheep. I must admit that I was wincing in pain for the lambs our kids got to hold. The bleating coming from those poor things as their limbs were being held in a splits position.
Stopped by the orphanage and introduced our kids to their kids. Not much bonding happened. Likely because of the relative closeness in age they needed more time for warming up to each other. We had taken the 3 and 4’s on the same tour last week and their favourite part of the trip was the orphanage. They all adopted one of the wee ones and piggy backed them round and had a jolly good time.