Conservation volunteers

Patea Planting Trust Rory

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world”  Anne Frank

Sam, Rory and Colt have been brought up in the outdoors.  Sean and I continued to tramp and hunt when I was pregnant, when they were babies and during their growing years.  However, their time in their outdoors has been more than that, they have been conservation volunteers.  We have planted native species, counted birds, controlled pest plants, collected rubbish, trapped predators and taken measurements from dead stranded whales.  We have photos on our phones, samples in bags and notebooks and pencils at hand.  The boys have had some neat experiences.  I once took a Wandering albatross to Rory’s classroom before it was released on the coast.  When Sam was a toddler a stormy front swept in while we were monitoring shorebirds and we had to build a make-shift tent from our wet weather gear to protect him from the fierce cold stinging rain.  Once during a snack stop in the forest we were joined by a family of wild pigs with eight piglets.  Due to Rory’s disabilities it has become difficult for him to be a conservation volunteer, but we think it is an important activity so we adapt and persevere.  At the Patea Planting Trust event a couple of weeks ago we had to help him mobilise across the uneven ground, and move him from hole to hole, so he could plant after we dug.  We will go back to the site in future and he will be able to say “I planted those trees.  I have made a difference”.  Today Sean and I split up for our environmental missions.  Sean took Colt to hunt wild deer in the eastern hill country.  I went to the Seaside Market in New Plymouth to promote Weedbusters  and the control of pest plants in our community.  Rory didn’t fit well within either mission so he spent the day with Companion Jo.  They went for a walk, enjoyed a hot chocolate, checked out the market and prepared a lovely dinner for us at home. 

Rory continues to attend ball dancing practice.  It is such an incredibly difficult activity for him.  I can see his mind and body burning with concentration as he tries to stay upright and get the steps right.  He has always been determined.  Rory has had another blood test this week.  His thyroid results are too high so we are currently making adjustments to his dose and testing the impact.  He was also jabbed for his next MMR immunisation.  We had a meeting with Kristina from Community Connections, an organisation which helps people with disabilities find employment after high school.  They also run a monthly meet and greet dinner which is an opportunity to socialise and make new friends.  We plan to take Rory.  On Saturday Sean and Rory went to Uncle Matt and Auntie Vanessa’s farm to shift the stock while they are away.  Rory drove the mule across the farm.  He loves it.  He will never be able to hold a drivers license, or drive a car, because of his mild intellectual disability.  Driving on the farm gives him a great sense of achievement. 

I had an early start at work on Tuesday in Stratford and was lucky enough to see it snowing when the temperature dropped.  There is something magical about snow falling.  It has been a week of -1 to 0 degree mornings.  I have had a couple of runs on frozen footpath and frosty grass.  It is a battle to keep Rory warm during freezing days as he insists on wearing light clothing, in spite of having no hair.  His hands are stone cold and the colour of a corpse due to peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage). 

Happy 19th Birthday Ethan.  Thanks for being Woody the Weed at the Seaside Market today.