Jumbo update 30 November 2012
The Moses memorial barn is located on a piece of land with its own separate title deed to ensure that it is totally separated from the remainder of our property and would not be affected in the event of our death or sale of the remaining property for any reason and provision for this has been legally made. Although the barn is legally separated from the rest of the property it is close to the back door of the house (I am sure that from time to time we may need to bring a baby into the house for a little TLC) and it overlooks Moses grave so he will always be a part of it.
Jim and I started the process of marking out the foundations on Saturday morning – must have been the very hottest day of the year and as result I was the colour of a tomato on Sunday morning when Matimat and I completed the task. All of us have our normal jobs to do as well and so we juggle the Jumbo work around our schedules and whilst I have the full weekend to work on Jumbo Jim is on his own on Saturdays, Matimat is on his own on Sunday, Louise gives riding lessons on Saturdays and it is not really fair to have little Catherine out in the full sun. Without little Moses whose needs had to come first at all times we are a lot more flexible (although every single one of us would give this up in a heartbeat to have Moses with us again).
I must say I did need to rack the old brain a bit to go back to my high school geometry to ensure that the splitting of the barn into the 8 segments was 100% correct and you would have laughed at me sitting on the ground with the little school geometry set marking out the angles in the middle of our circle and hammering nails into the ground to “mark the spot”. The internal foundations have now all been dug and by the end of today the circle itself will also be complete. I had to make a concentrated effort not to increase the size of the barn as foundations always look so much smaller and in the past I have done exactly that and ended up with a couple of huge rooms as a result, although all the measurements on the plan do make sense I did have to go through the motions of bringing in my large mare Meryl McQueen who is 17hh and weighs just over a ton to walk around each “stall” so that I could be sure that she had plenty of room to move around as then I could visualize a 4 year old ele in comparison to her size and reassure myself that they still had plenty of room to sleep comfortably. This did create much amusement from all around me!
We had the first group of school children visiting us last Friday. Louise and Jim took charge of this event and the kids had a great time and were incredibly polite and well behaved. They started off by interacting with Mr Bo Jangles the donkey and then each kid took turns in sitting on Balloo the grey gelding who was very well behaved ( probably due to the vast amount of carrots that he was fed), Even the teachers hitched up their dresses and sat on the horse. This was the very first time that any of these kids had even seen a horse! They then all moved onto a shady spot in the garden where they watched a video on Moses and had an interactive talk on the importance of looking after our animals both wild and domestic. Louise gave examples of how people benefited from wild animals and why it was important to save them and was delighted to see the positive reactions from both teachers and students. The general consensus was that none of them had really thought about wild animals as being useful at all and had only thought about them as either food or a nuisance that should be destroyed but that they would now go back and teach their friends about saving wild animals.
At one point in time one of the teachers asked Jim how he knew when to feed Moses and Jim replied “when he asked me” at which time all the kids burst into laughter and said “animals cant speak so how did you know”. Jim got very indignant and then went on to explain that although animals do not speak our language they do communicate, we just need to know how to read their communication and he explained that Moses would walk to the kitchen door and lift his trunk up to say “please feed me” and if nobody took any notice he would nudge you gently and then go back to the kitchen door and lift his trunk up and put the tip into his mouth to indicate that he wanted food in there. There was complete silence for a few minutes after this explanation and then one of the teachers commented on how clever Moses was and that she had never thought of animals being able to communicate, the discussion then went on to other ways that the children may have noticed animals trying to communicate whilst us humans just ignored them.
All in all we believe that it was a positive visit, the kids had a great time and if we managed to convert even just one of them to become more conservation conscious or to treat their domestic animals with a bit more kindness and compassion that the visit was well worth doing.