01.10.2011, minnie

First of all, I want to apologize for not updating my blog. After last writing there has been so many things happening even though it has been just a bit more than two weeks. Now when I am writing this, I am sitting in a cafe and waiting my train to leave, as I have to wait for 6 hours..How I got into this situation? Well, I just left my work at Scone PoloHorse Stables after one week of hard work, and my employer got mad since I wanted to leave. So they said if I want them to drive me to the station we`d have to leave at 8am, and my train leaves at here I am, feeling a bit stressed, cold, hungry and insecure what I am going to do next. But let me tell from the beginning where I left after last text..
The week we spent in Sydney was nice. We went for a city walk organized by our hostel. We saw some of the important tourist places, such as the Opera House. The parks in the city (for example the Botanic Garden) were really nice! We saw many different kinds of birds, bats, and flowers. The atmosphere was just so relaxing, and I think it is really good to have places like that in the busy city center. The week went by quite quickly as we were walking around, doing some shopping and taking care of some of the obligatory things such as tax number, bank accounts etc. Sometimes the language (e.g the slang) caused difficulties to understand, but as time goes by, it gets easier and easier. On Friday I decided to take the train to Tamworth and spend the weekend there before the Jillaroo(cowgirl) course started.
Arriving into Tamworth was a shock; nothing to do, almost no internet access, and as expensive as in Sydney.. I was still lucky, since I only had two nice Dutch girls in my room, so went to the park and library together waiting the weekend to end. On Monday the Jillaroo School started and there was a small minibus (very ancient one!) waiting for us in front of the hostel. It took approx. 1-1,5 hours to get to the Leconfield ranch. The course was fully booked, and we were 20 students staying in a “shed” with wooden bunk beds and our own sleeping bags. Every meal had to be eaten outside around the campfire, because we did not want any bugs inside the shed. Every morning we woke up at 6.30, but actually everybody woke up when the sun started to rise and the huge cow ammuuing that he was the boss of the place  (One morning he started already at 3.30am). Normally we started with natural horsemanship lessons or something practical such as horse shoeing/whip cracking etc, followed by 2,5 horse riding in the arena/on the mountains. We did so many things that I am too lazy to write them all here, but if you are interested, please check out the Leconfield website with the schedule: Couple of things I want to say about the course. I have never ridden a horse in such a difficult paths/seeing such amazing views when on the top of the mountains. We saw some special lizards, rode under the eucalyptus trees (they really had a beautiful fragrance), waved to the kangaroos and just enjoyed the natures wild life and of course horse riding! The week was physically so hard that every muscle in my body was aching, but it was definitely worth it!!! (Two girls left in the middle of the week, because it was just too hard and unpleasant (?) for them). I must say, that I have now completed one of my dreams, and it feels so good!!! I actually would like to do it a bit more (maybe extra 2 weeks or so), but not for very long, as I noticed my 48kg- body is not meant to wrestle calves everyday.. :happy: Anyway, the week was great; I met some nice travelers and learnt a lot! On Friday evening we headed back to Tamworth to have a nice dinner and go to party (which I did not `coz I was so tired).
The next day I travelled two hours to Scone, where this PoloHorse groom job was waiting for me. They put me straight away to work as I arrived in the middle of the Polo game. There were 7 very huge and muscular horses that were used in the games, and 3 other horses on the paddocks. The very busy schedules during the polo game was a total surprise to me as I had to do everything by myself. In Polo game, there are 6 chukkers, and they all are 7 minutes long. Between the chukkers are only 3 minutes, and in every chukker the owner used different horse. So after one chukker was finished, I had to be waiting with the new horse all ready and set, take the “used” horse, undo all the equipments, wash him/her and prepare the new horse ready for the next chukker, and all this in just 5 minutes!! It was too much for me, and have to admit, I did not like the way they were handling the horses either. I think it was too big leap from western style horse riding & handling to this busy competition atmosphere, and it did not suit me (even though I have worked in race stables in Finland earlier). Anyway the week went by as I was working but then on Wednesday happened a little accident with horses and my left hand skin was “burnt”, so I couldn`t do quite much with only one hand. In my opinion this was “a sign”, that it would be time for me to change place. The family seemed at first very friendly and caring, but as the week went by, I started to discover it was only “a pretty book outside”. It’s difficult to describe exactly what happened the next days, but have to say that their way of handling my signing off was a bit rough. So in the end they did not a) pay me at all and b) did not write a certification. My bank card and other important documents are on their way there so I wonder if I`ll ever see them again.. Anyway, they drove me to the train station 6 hours before the train departure (there was only one train/day leaving), so I had to sit and wait outside, with my backpacks, in the storm, with no idea what to do..(Notice that now I have already arrived to Tamworth, and I am continuing this story the next day! :)). 30 minutes before the train was supposed to leave, I went to the station. There was this one local lad who started to chat to me, and I must say, that was the hardest Australian slang I have ever heard! I had to concentrate, but it was really nice to talk with him. After a while there was a third lad who joined our conversations, and it really made my day! In the train I talked to a man who was going to meet his mates in Tamworth, so these little chit chats were good practice for me. Every coin has two sides definitely, and you know me; I am a survivor 😉 So now I am hoping to find some work for the next 2-3 weeks before I return to Sydney. If I don`t, then I just might travel to Melbourne and back, coz believe me; I don`t want to stay in Tamworth for very long time without a work!
So keep your fingers crossed and let’s hope for the best!
xxx Minnie


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