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A Farming Adventure!

There’s only so much I can describe with words, if I could put you in a little box in my head with popcorn and a TV I don’t think you’d want to leave! I was the fortunate one out of the BTEC students that got to do my work placement overseas in a completely different environment. I worked in the United Kingdom on a dairy farm in a little town called Newent in Gloucestershire. To be honest I was terrified as the days got closer to my start date, I thought I was going to get lost or get abducted, but I quickly learnt English people are very kind when you ask for help.

Well… you better have a minute to spare because I know this article will be a bit long, but I was in the UK on my own with school permission and this was a rare opportunity, so bear with me!

On Sunday 15th April 2018, the last day of the Chengelo UK trip, I had to get from Oxford to Gloucester and all I had to do was take a train but there was no direct train. I almost ended up in Wales but I managed to find my way to the correct platform.

It was about 6:30pm when I eventually got there and it was still light! Usually in Zambia it’s dark by then, so 7:00pm was still afternoon to me there. (This is just to let you know I had to acclimatize to a very foreign and strange country, but indeed a beautiful country, just not as beautiful as Zambia of course.) Anyway moving on… by the way if you need more popcorn, pause for a second and resume.

So after I arrived I was picked up by Mr Ian Cracknell who was to be my boss and we went to church, yes church. I too was confused but it turned out to be an evening service and I had a great time and met a couple of Zambians who were very interested in my presence there.

I too was interested in their presence in a very cold country where the sun goes down later than 8PM, so we spent a few minutes smiling at each other and probably wondering why we were all there in the same place, I strongly believed God took me there to call them home but no, that wasn’t the case! I met up with one of the them a few times on my stay in Newent and we had a small Zambian gathering when we all met up and had lunch together. I met many other interesting people during my two week placement and they were all so kind and welcoming. Almost all of them I met were amazed to hear of where I came from, As I described my country to them they looked like they were lost in awe.

Don’t worry, this is the last bit of the article. During the two weeks I learnt how to milk cows using an automated milking machine in a herringbone parlour. I woke up at 4:00am on certain days to start milking and finished at 7:00pm on some days, so it was quite tough! Not the work so much, it was the waking up that was the hardest task! I was in charge of feeding the calves, observing and nurturing them and I also helped with lots of other small tasks around the farm. The most fun was driving the little tractor scraping muck to the slurry pit.

Apart from work I also took advantage of the different farms and features in the area. I visited Hartpury College and took a tour around; I visited a rotary parlour that milks 1000 cows; I also visited a farm that uses robotic milking machines where humans are not needed (apart from inputting data into a computer) and I took a walk up the highest hill in the area, Mayhill as it is known. I fell in love with the people and the place I was in. The family I stayed with, Ian and Julia Cracknell and one of their daughters Naomi were great hosts and amazing people to stay with; it was a blessing to meet them and stay with them.If I could go return I would definitely take the opportunity to because it was a fantastic experience and very educational. I believe I have benefited immensely from this experience and anyone else would too! I thank everyone that made it possible and hope more opportunities like this become available for other students.

Andrew James Ross


  1. Mr Nauta

    Great story, Andrew! So good to read your adventures!

  2. Lesta

    Proud of you

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