Day 23 . First Day of 4-H

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Daily reflections by Ema and Elle ~

By Ema ~ I was up early this morning to watch the sun rise. My belly was giving me some issues, so I sat in the warm night air and had time with Sunny the cat. I think I must be very fortunate to see so many sunrises as well as sunsets. They are indeed each unique to witness. Living with the ocean in view creates the perfect backdrop. I feel so blessed to be here.

Today will be Elle’s first horse riding lesson and she is ever so excited. We did not bring many pairs of pants, but came prepared with one set, knowing living in this area of the island, horses could play into our stay here.

My goddaughter actually has a horse and has invited us to the club. There are also horses housed on the land we care take actually and it turns out by the lady, known as Aunty Shay, that runs the 4-H Club for the kids. Elle always pays attention when she is on the land with the horses and now will have her chance to meet them herself. My goddaughter was suppose to be joining us today, but was not feeling so well, so we began the adventure to find the place on our own. The coordinates I had been given lead us the wrong way at first and towards my goddaughters home. Her father thought he had given me the 4-H Club, but must have pinged his own location. We found our way and just on time. It was difficult leaving her behind, even through it’s a small town and my god daughters family knows the teacher, I have even met her before, but I had that sense parents must have leaving their children for the first day of school. It was difficult to walk away, but I am so happy for her to have this opportunity. I ran to town and did some grocery shopping, but it felt odd not having her there. We are nearly always together these days and at most maybe in a different room in the house. I did return at the end of the lesson and caught a few pictures of her first ride. She has been invited to return weekly while we are here and is beyond thrilled. She has always dreamed of having a horse, and while we are here she can have a taste of the cowgirl life!

We have lots of dragon-fruit from the land and Elle was excited to eat sugar again. We had taken it out of her diet to allow her body to heal quicker. I on the other hand have been living off the fruit happily. It seems to be the best for my belly. For dinner I made a simple stir fry with some rice noodles and zucchini. Been adding seaweed and brewers yeast for extra nutrients. The brewers yeast makes it kind of cheesy tasting too.

Its sad that right now the island is having issues with a slug, making it difficult to safely grow your own greens. When I lived here before having a garden year round of all sorts of foods was one of the best elements. I guess on this land we also have a lot of wild pigs, so even compost attracts them. Can’t complain through, just being back where the food grows on the trees feels like divinity to me.

By Elle ~ Today I woke up and ate breakfast this morning I was out of eggs so I had  granola and milk, like cereal. I needed to do some schooling so I grabbed my computer and worked on math for hours before it was time to get ready for 4 H. I took a shower, put on my outfit, and did my hair when we got a message saying Stella didn’t feel well and they were going to have to cancel, but we could still go if we wanted to. I wanted to go still so we headed to the address we were sent but soon realized we were just heading to Stellas house so we had to find other directions. We made it there at exactly 3:30 which was when it started, and Ema said her goodbyes and left.

We were heading to round up horses in a minute, but I noticed this man who was changing for everyone to see, which was odd but I just ignored him. Most of the girls wanted to ride with him all but the 5 year old a 9 year old and I. We listened to country music on the way and Shay told the nine year old and I to get out and fill the buckets with water for the horses. I was in charge of turning on the water while the 9year old filled the buckets, she asked me “ do I fill the buckets or spray the horses?” I told her “ fill the buckets” she said “ both?” I said “I don’t know” and apparently she only filled one before we went back to everyone, everyone was almost done collecting the horses so we just stood there and waited. Soon we were about to ride to the other horses which wasn’t very far, on the horse trailer, but before that Shay had all of the girls introduce themselves and shake my hand before we got on the trailer. One of the girls got to ride on a horse there and the tall one ended up riding the horse there while the rest of us rode on the trailer. I had to get off with the 9 year old and some other girl to fill the other water bucket and roll up the hose and then we had to walk to them which was only like a few feet away. When we finished and got there and everyone was almost done and filling up the trailer with horses. We were just waiting for one horse who was getting new shoes. Shay told us to get in the back of the truck, I started to get in the back back and asked “back here?” Thinking I had misunderstood as none of the other girls were back there but to my surprise she said “yes, we break the rules here” right around then was when 3 other girls came in the 9 year old, the tall girl and some other girl. Some of the girls were complaining about how they hated riding in the back of the truck and how long this was taking. But finally we left, there was a girl who was grabbing a horse thing and said “who’s that?” Talking about me and the nine year old said “she’s new” and we left. The tall girl was singing the whole way there and asked “why is everyone so quiet?” I just told her “because we’re listening to your beautiful music” that was when we all started talking and soon we got to our destination. We started unloading the horses and I unloaded 2 but people kept taking them away, one of the people being the 9 year old. The tall girl started to shoes us how to clean the bottom of the horses hoof but we had to change horses because we had the one who had fresh shoes. So we got to work on Wendy (the horse not person) and the tall girl thought us how to brush the horse, clean the bottom of it hoof, and brush there mane and tail. She showed us not to get the frog of the foot and I asked “ why is it called a frog?” She said “ I don’t know, Auntie Shay! Why is it called a frog?” Shay said “ I don’t know…” and talked to another teacher who also said “I don’t know” neither of them had ever been asked that. Soon the tall girl told me if I wanted I could brush the mane, so I started brushing it, but with the body brush, she said “not with that” laughing, with this and she handed me the brush. Soon “Auntie shay” as all the girls call her, showed us how to take of a horses shoe, and showed us the different parts of the horse. Soon when the horse was done, Shay had the tall girl show me how to walk the horse to the run exercise place and then shay had me walk the 9 year old to the same place. The nine year old needed help so I helped her and lead the horse to the spot. That was when ema came and the old lady ( also named Wendy) said “her moms here can she ride?” Shay told me to get a helmet and I rode Mooca in a  circle ring for a while before saying our good byes and leaving.

I got really confident after being nervous for a while and I really liked the experience. When we got home we cooked dinner and I had my first piece of fruit in days and heard shay come to unload the horses. I did an essay on my day and went to bed.

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