the sunrise was gorgeous!
Our very first night at the Wambiana Station we had to go to bed super early. Our host family said we needed our sleep for the long day ahead of us even though we didnt know what was in store. It was hard sleeping in the bunks because even though it was hot during the day it was very cold in the outback and so we were very cold. We were woken at around 5am the next morning and we had to briskly get dressed and didnt have enough time to shower before we had to scarf our breakfast down. We were all so tired but excited to learn what our farm family had in store for us. First we got the chance to explore the farm that spanned 57,000 acres. We got to meet the different animals. The wambiana station is a cow farm mostly so they were the main animals there but they also had a couple pigs, chickens, and camels.
Connor didnt want us to leave so he sat in our bus drivers seat.
We learned that the camels were there because there is a certain kind of grass that the cows cant eat because it will make their milk sour so they have the camels there to eat the grass because they like it, that way the grass is trimmed and the cows have good milk. After our exploration of the farm, we went back to the house and listened to a presentation from Michelle about how she home schools her children because they are about 2 hours away from any city with a school. She also taught us about their medical service they use through a radio with the hospital since the nearest hospital is 3 hours away! I couldnt imagine being that far away from any medical service especially while living on a farm with all that heavy dangerous machinery.
After the lecture we were led to an area with 2 huge trofts filled with water and a type of checmical.
our bunks in the big barn.
We watched curiously as cows went one by one as they eagerly jumped into the troft of water and swam to the other side and into a big pasture. Michael told us that the technique was called "Dipping" and it is used on the cows to keep ticks and other unwanted bugs off of them and still be safe for the cows. After that we went into a smaller pasture and saw a pregnant cow. Michael chose 7 students at random and taught us how to perform a pregnancy test on a cow. the students went up one by one and got a glove that went up to their shoulders (I couldnt believe they were going to do that!) then they had to insert their hand into the cows rectum and feel to see if there was a big sac like thing. if there was... the cow was pregnant. if there wasnt..
.. well then the cow just got a very un wanted test performed on her. we found out she was pregnant by the way. When we finished that we went into yet another small pasture and Michael caughed a small cow and put him in restraints and laid him down on the ground and got a red hot metal brand and branded the poor cow. I couldnt believe I was watching this! The when we thought it couldnt get any worse he pulled out a knife and slith the cows testicles right off to casterate him! He kept saying it just takes 3 quick snips and the cow wont feel a thing. Then he took the testicles to a grill in the pasture and he cut them up and grilled them. He said to try them and that where we live they are called rocky mountain oysters. I thought GROSS! it honestly wasnt that bad.
Connor with his whip
When we were finished we went back for dinner which was another wonderfully made homecooked meal. After supper Michael and his 2 sons taught us all how to crack a bullwhip which is indeed harder than it looks. We had to wear goggles because it got very dangerous with inexperienced kicks swinging a huge whip around in circles. Then we went back into a wooded area of the farm by a stream and had a relay race. It was fantastic! We each got put into teams and the first person had to run and tag the second person who had to eat a full vegemite sandwich (which is totally NASTY!) then tag the third person who had to fill small pails of water from the pond to empty into a bigger pail then tag the final person who rolled a giant barrel across the finish line. After that we all pitched in and collected firewood and decided to have a talent show. It was great fun watching everyone dance and sing and perform. Then it was finally time for bed and we all crashed early.