Friday, June 3, 2016

Day 34!

Hello hello!! My deepest apologies for keeping everyone waiting for another update! To be honest, I'm having a hard time putting sentences together today, I simply cannot fathom the amount of work we have done and the number of sheep that I have come in contact with.  Has my time in Iceland flown by this quickly? HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?? I am fairly certain a mental breakdown will occur in the near future simply because it is going to be so difficult to leave this amazing place. But, I am extremely excited to share all of my stories in person and see my family and friends!

So, here are the events that have occurred:

Yesterday we had one of the last sheep deliver her lamb, unfortunately the lamb did not survive. The little lamb decided to come out backwards, and it was quite difficult to get her out. Her face was deformed, and she was never able to take a breath although her heart was beating. Poor little ewe. But, on a brighter note, we were able to take a lamb from a ewe that had a very serious case of mastitis and give it to the ewe that lost her lamb. All are happy and doing well now!

Snaedis and I have adopted a little lamb that we so affectionately call "Tiny" since she was only 1.2 kilos when she was born. Very rarely do lambs survive when they are born below 1.5 kilos, but this little miracle is a champion. Tiny spent her first week of life under a heat lamp and had to be fed through a stomach tube since the teat was too big for her to suckle! After a few days of tubing her, she gained enough strength to suckle on the bottle, which stood taller than she was! The ewe that gave birth to her was not very intelligent, and didn't want Tiny or her twin brother, so we gave Tiny to a ewe that lost her 5.4 kilo lamb at birth (MASSIVE LAMB!) and they have been inseparable ever since. Tiny has now made her way up the social ladder and is now outside in a group pen! We are so proud of her! She is very curious and must investigate everything surrounding her, testing the materials likelihood of being edible. Tiny is also known for loving snuggles and being scratched. We would dangle our hand in the pen and she would immediately run to us! Her little tail would wag so fast it looked like her back end would lift off the ground, and she would lick her lips to show just how good it felt! Her favorite spots are just above her tail, behind the ears, between her shoulder blades, and her chest! We were quite concerned that she would loose her mother and not survive the first night outside. But Tiny proved us wrong yet again. Her mother is very tender and caring and watches Tiny's every move. The ewe has also accepted that when there is a human, Tiny will inevitably find them. She comes over and sniffs our faces to make sure we are the good ones, then walks away and leave us to babysit. Not that we mind!


Another lamb we are keeping an eye on is Sir Bran, a lamb that was born a little over a week ago with both front legs broken. The vet came and set the bones, which was quite easy to do since he was just born and the bones were still quite soft. Bran and his mother, Lady Stark, are doing so well! Lady Stark will move over to Bran and position herself so he can suckle. He is plenty capable of getting up, but getting his clunky legs under him to suckle is quite difficult. We often give him milk replacer in a bottle just to top him off so he has plenty of milk in his belly to grow nicely. And for those wondering, the names are a direct reference to Game of Thrones. We thought it was too perfect and couldn't pass up the opportunity!

Most of the ewes and their lambs are outside now, since the weather has been so fabulous lately. The only ones left inside are the ones that are receiving antibiotics or some form of care. There are 4 ewes left to give birth. That's right, only 4!!!! So, with everyone being outside, I have been given the task of power washing the pens! I have decided that we need to get Mike Rowe out here to film an episode of Dirty Jobs, because this is one of the dirtiest jobs I have ever done! Example: whilst power washing there are many times where the water angle hits the flooring just right and sprays a large amount of dried sheep feces straight at my face. Now, I have tried goggles, but they get too foggy and I can't see, which is no good. So I have learned to squint...a lot. Another important life lesson I have learned is that no matter how good the music is that I am listening to, you should not under ANY circumstance begin to sing. Reason one: someone might hear you belting Beyonce at the top of your lungs, and reason two: poop will get in your mouth, I promise you that is not a joke. In case you need further evidence, here is a picture I took of myself yesterday after 3 hours of intense power washing of some of the dirtiest pens in the barn. (NOTE: pens are swept daily while the sheep inhabit them, but things still build up, hence the power washing requirement.)
Here I am sporting my blue coveralls, rubber overalls, earmuffs and headphones.
And poop...all over my face and hair.
Story time: A group of ladies came into the barn on one of the first days I was power washing, and they were doing a scavenger hunt for a bridal shower they were attending. They wore bright pink feathery hats and scarfs and needed to get a picture with a farmer and sheep. So naturally they asked me if they could take a photo with me. 'Sure, why not?' I said. Photo was snapped, and off they went. I resumed my power washing. Another group of ladies walks in, same quest. Except this time one of the women started speaking Icelandic to me, and when I told her I was American, they all lit up. 'We need to kiss someone who's not from Iceland, can I kiss your cheek?' I laughed and said 'Why not!' Little did I realize I had sheep dung all over my face, and I am not entirely convinced that they realized it either. They ran off after the photo was taken, and I had a lipstick mark on my cheek the rest of the day. I'm pretty sure the woman realized she had made a big mistake when she reviewed the picture, or at least I am hoping she did. So moral of the story, if you see someone in a barn power washing pens, don't kiss them on the cheek. It's just bad hygiene. 

More stories: There are Icelandic horses in the field next to our sheep, and one of them gave birth a few days ago to a beautiful little filly. Every day I make it my mission to get closer to the foal. The mare allows me to get to the fence and watch her and her baby. She is very sweet to her little one, and very protective, good momma!

Snaedis and I are going to be going horseback riding tomorrow once the feeding is done for the remaining indoor sheep, and to say I am excited is a massive understatement. It will be a miracle if I can get any sleep tonight! I promise I will take as many pictures as I can, and hopefully Snaedis can take a few as well! 

With another post down, I must say farewell for now. Time to go do evening cleaning and feeding for the hungry sheep. I will post again very soon!!

Much love, 



  1. This is awesome!!!! Well done Becca! Keep singing!

  2. Oh, I can't wait to hear about your riding adventure -- Power-washing, Poop and Ponies! What a life, Becca!! Have gotten my big hug from Scott and can't wait to see you and Stasia!! Nonni