Saturday, October 25, 2008

My work, my life

I start often in the middle of the night, to catch up on some of the emails, as most of the people i deal with are asleep when i am awake, and visa versa.
So if i want to speak to them, or email them, i need to get up very early, to catch them.
Often i can wake up to 50 emails in the morning, which takes time to go through and answer every one of them.
I try to, but sometimes, i am interutped, when it is time to get brekky ready.

Rob, is fantastic, and often makes me a milo, while he cooks his brekky.

Rob is truely my soul mate, and we get on so fabulously.
Lauren is next to go to work, she works as a courier driver, and also works in the hotel in Pakenham. We are very proud of Lauren, as she has achieved so much.
Daniel is next to go to work.
He is an apprentice plumber.
His girlfriend Hannah is a hairdresser, and has just moved into he house.
Rob is next to organise, but at this stage, i am most likely on the phone to england, or Canada.
Night time in england, midday in Canada, a coupl of hours ahead in New Zealand.
In between answering the phone or an email, Rob gives me my milo, and we sometimes, take 5 minutes out to say hello.
Usually the phone has rang again, and so Rob, sets out his days work.
By this stage, it is almost 8am, and so we start ringing Elyse to wake her up.
She lives in a gorgeous little flatette we made on the farm and she is very happy in her space.
The last few weeks i have been working on Protocols for other countries to export alpacas to, as well as the curent marketplaces, as protocols change all the time. As well as the bookwork for each shipment currently in quarantine at the moment, i must plan the next quarantine, and work with the alpacas, organise the alpacas to be delivered, or we pick them up.
A lot of planning takes place as most of the time, it is at least a 12 - 14 hour drive each way. It is pretty tiring driving that same road every time. We must go up to NSW, Sydney area on the average at least once a month, and this year we have been over to SA at least 5 times. In between picking up local alpacas. This week, Daniel assisted in picking up some alpacas, whilst Rob and i went in the other direction picking up some more alpacas for the next quarantines. I also assist overseas importers to organise screening, for the Uk. Again this can take some time, as people often change their minds, on when they want to do things.

I must now go to the quarantine feed and quickly clean. Rob does a good clean mid day. Elyse checks on the herd, and brings up any alpaca that needs treatment, if any. We are very lucky, we do not have many problems with our alpacas, they generally do not get sick., but we check them regularly, and we make sure we stick to our worming and vitamin maintenance vigilantly. Fibre samples taken, bookwork, photos, planning new shipments. Show entries, research, halter training, assisting vet, colating paperwork and vet results, co-ordinate with other countries schedules, and often ring up an importer just to touch base. Organise shearing, hay baling, some where along the line do a little housework although this seems to be left behind. Check babies, check late pregnant paddock. Bring males up for mating or spit offs. Meanwhile, Rob has gone and completed some lawns, given quotes out for new jobs. Sometimes, elyse assists rob, with his landscaping mowing service. If i can, i try to meet rob for lunch, although i am very lucky to catch him once or twice a week. Put tea on, whilst we go and check the alpacas in quarantine again, another clean, and feed. Often Elyse will cook tea, and serve it for us, whilst i am still on the computer. it is now 9.40 at night, and i still have heaps to go.

But, as it gets later, then rob and i might have a quick drink, and then off to bed. We work 7 days a week, although we do not get tired of it, it is nice just to jump off that merry go round every now and then. Yesterday people from NSW dropped in to learn more about alpacas, and after the vet work for the quarantine animals, and final bookwork, being ompleted for AQIS. Rob finished early, it is the first time, he has, the night before he did not finish until 8.30pm. I said to rob, i need to get out and see the sun, and get some fresh air. Now that it is day light saving, you can go for a short drive, so we drove to Hastings, that is where we lived when we first got married, and of course where our alpaca venture started. We got some chicken and chips, and sat at the foreshore, and watched the boats go in and out, and watched the seagulls, and was a beautiful evening, and just nice to be together, and catch up on what has been happening in each others lives. On Monday, it is our wedding anniversary, 29 years.

I still think we make a cute couple, but i can honestly say, that against all odds, he came over to Peru, a moments notice, he called into the travel agent, when elyse rang him in tears whilst I was in hospital in Lima.
He said to the travel agent, he has to go to get me and his daughter, he explained the situation, and the travel agent said there is a plane leaving in 1 1/2 hours, not another plane for two days,
He rang Lauren at work, and asked her to come home, and pack some clothes for him.
He rang his work, and said he did not know when he was coming back. It takes at the best of time, 1 1/4 hours to get to the airport. They held the plane up for him, as Lauren also drove him to the airport.
The 22 hours to Los Angeles, then 10 hours waiting in Los Angeles airport, not knowing if I was going to be alive or dead when he arrived.
Meanwhile, a Peruvian doctor who was the only person we had seen for weeks that could speak a tiny bit of english, organised to pick up Rob.
Rob at this stage did not even know what hospital i was in.
The doctor took elyse to the airport, and bought Rob to the hospital.
He was my knight in shining armour.
As up to date, the doctors had told me I was not going home, that is all they could say in english.
They only spoke spanish.
They could not fix me, and I could not understand them and they could not understand me.
We had gone through all our cash whilst I was in hospital in Cusco, where i first got sick, and elyse stayed with me all the time in my hospital room.
Rob had taught himself spanish the previous two years, and he spoke it fluerently.
We had always planned to go to Peru for our 50th birthdays, so Rob taught himself, by memorising five words every day, and listening to the spanish news on the radio whilst he drove on his courier round.
Once he arrived, he helped to nurse me back, and he spoke to the doctors to make them understand how I was feeling, and also helped to translate what was wrong.
We were there in total 8 weeks in that hospital room, the three of us, as like in a prison cell.
It was very frightening on the streets of Peru, with a man being bashed within an inch of his life for 45 minutes, outside my hospital room. He was screaming for help, he screamed until the end, when they had bashed so much, and then smashed something in his back.
Everyone watched, and everyone was too scared to go and help.
I do not believe that man was alive when they pinned him down unconsious, on the back of the ute, with a batton against his head.
Before Rob came, poor elyse was there by herself, I was in no condition to help her, and if it was not for her courageousness I know I would not be alive, as she ran through the hospital calling for someone to speak english. She was only 16 years old.
One thing we learnt in Peru, well the large city of Lima, they do not like white people that much.
Thank goodness the day we were taken from Cusco by an insurance doctor, as i was definately not going to survive in the high altitudes, i had to get down to the low lands.

The insurance doctor took us on a plane, and then an ambulance met us, and took us to a hospital, then the doctor and ambulance went, noone knew who i was, what was wrong with me, or anything at all. The insurance doctor did not tell anyone anything, no hospital history, no nothing. Although we had travel insurance, the hospital said they did not take travel insurance, and they were going to throw us on the streets, unless we came up with $AUS20,000 there and then, which we could not, and so they said we could not stay. I told Elyse to run, and try and phone Her dad, the travel insurance or Pat, the Importer we were with in Peru. Try and find someone who could speak english to help us.
Elyse found Dr Freddie, who spoke a little english who negotiated on our behalf for 3 hours, before the hospital said I could stay. We did not know or was i in any condition to contact the Australian Embassy. They had not contacted us.
An experience I am afraid has scarred Elyse, who still breaks down from time to time over this experience.
So when we saw Rob, he did come and save us both, assisted me in getting me better, was there for elyse to give her a break and took her out each day to see a little of Lima.
He took us home.
......for better for worse
Thanks Rob Happy Anniversary

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