Like a new day dawning, a new year begins.
Although i am glad to see the end of 2009, and looking forward to a fantastic year in 2010, when i overlook the year of 2009, i realise the changes that occurred in our lives.
2009 was really a year of change...changes that will affect our own lives for years to come.
The year started off on a bright note, of our eldeest son Andrew becoming Engaged to his fiance Leesa, a lovely girl, and we all were so happy for these two.
Lauren thought she had met a nice guy, but this guys true colours showed through very early in the piece and it was not to be.
She is now pregnant with er first child, our first grandchild due in Febuary. She is now looking forward to being a good mum, and has moved back home so the stories i hear of a grandparent handing the baby back, i see myself, typing in future one handed whilst i will have a baby on my lap.
But we support our gorgeous daughter and her new son, Jesse Robert.
Daniel and hannah are very settled, and Daniel excelled so well in his apprenticeship, he completed two years of study in one year and was the only one in his class to pass.
For a guy that hated school in his early days, now has found his forte and just loves plumbing, and we are so proud of him.
Elyse the story of out with the old and in with the new, she said goodbye to one guy, who was not making her happy, and the new guy in her life Josh, has made so happy, she and Josh and his brother grant are currently away on her very first holiday that has nothing to do with work, she tells me no alpacasno goats and no sheep for two weeks, she has gone to Broken hill, camping, and has seen plenty of goats on the side of the road so far.
Rob & I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary, and although we hate the feeling of growing old, we are still much in love with each other as the day we met.
So the Home front, although we have our ups and downs is great.
I will always love my alpacas, but politics in the alpacas at times can be just too much.
After almost 20 years of being bogged down with alpaca politics, is too much.
If only people in this industry put all the efforts they put in to gossipping and causing problems for others, put those energies into promoting our Industry, ca you imagine how better this industry would be.n
I realise it is everywhere, you go to other countries, and there are also politics over in their assocs, but we just do not need it.
My time these days, all day is spent in front of the computer, although now with this new contract i have i venture to the airport to load the animals at least once a week.
With one week, completely monopolising the whole of the victorian AQIS staff, as I had three shipments go off in two days.
So this little lady, self taught in the export game, is now one of the biggest Victorian live animal exporter, (by air) sitting in her little office.
So bogged down with trying to sort out problems others insist on covering up...i had to move on.
I discovered there is a world outside my office, and the world wants our alpacas, but also Australia's goats, sheep, cattle, camels, & buffalo.
So i had to research again into these other species, to extend my licence. I have spent the majority of the year, opening protocols for different countries. Originally for alpacas to Canada, which saw the first of three shipments that have gone to Canada, Adele, one of my favourites also went to canada.
ROb and I went to Canada to see the first lot of alpacas to exit the canadian side of the quarantine. 3 weeks in Canada opened my eyes to another world.
I look at all the websites now from overseas, and the facebook, and hear how cold it is in places, and i now can see the hardships you guys go through supporting animals in the cold snow. We have the opposite extremes here, with the excessive heat, but wow, it is hard in the weather that you guys in europe and north america russia, and parts of China experience.
We sent the first group of white suffolk sheep to China, saw a few hurdles, which meant changing some parts of protocols, which was not easy with China, but from this one group, there are now orders for 15,000 white suffolk sheep, which will be a huge advantage for white suffolk breeders.
This one shipment was seen one that would not go,
Persistance, and huge obstacles to overcome, and finally they were off. This experience taught me alot when dealing with other countries that do not speak english, other cultures, their beliefs, and how they do business, relate to directions, etc, is so different to how Australians see things, so i learnt alot through this experience.
Being the new exporter on the block on the big scale of things, means i do not get the easy joibs, i seem to get the too hard basket, exports no other exporter wants to do.
Allinvolving changing or creating protocols.
You do not get paid for opening a protocol, and so about 6 months hard work, for what. but i see this opportunity to prove myself to others and also, opening up new marketplaces for other species, gives us the chance to introduce alpacas to countries trhat never heard of them.
Since we have not only been to China, but russia, Seychelles, and Malaysia, with sites on Thailand and Taiwan.
Again, different cultures, different ways, and interpretations, all have taught me huge amount of knowledge.
Giving me experinces that no one probably could teach me.
Still on the EU's back about opening up direct eexports, and hopefully one day this will happen.
I have learnt through dealing in other species, how valuable an exporter is to these industries, and sheep and goat people show me appreciation for asisting them in selling their products overseas, and creating these new marketplaces.
Respect and appreciation i have not seen in the alpaca world.
alpacas will always be my one love.
A beautiful ultrafine, lustrious fleece, is one of the most beautiful things in the world.
A new born alpaca and watching them bloom into this beautiful animal, and also the love they show back to us.
But there is life with others as well as alpacas, and at the moment has opened my eyes to a larger world.
We have also established our own boer goat herd now, and i have a permanant weekly contract now, with the largest importer from Malaysia.
New years Daw saw Rob and i again talking business with future partners, and if all goes to plan, 2010 will be a great year.
We look forward now in 8 weeks time also welcoming Jesse. so a new year is dawning, and a whole year of new opportunities arise. Rob is busily preparing the farm now for our new venture.