My time volunteering

I was an itinerant teacher based at Fitzroy farm. I taught at the main settlement and rotated around the shepherd families living in the camp (country), a fortnight at a time. At that time, there were no roads and all my travelling was on horseback. The houses were about an hour apart and Port Stanley a five hour ride away. I was one of five VSO folk on a year's assignment, straight from school ourselves.

The impact of my placement

The younger children were not able to go to the government boarding school at Goose Green and would otherwise have no formal education.

My unforgettable moments

The whole experience is unforgettable. The boat journey across the Atlantic and down the Brazilian coast to Santos, Rio and Montevideo and four days of sea sickness on RMS Darwin to Port Stanley. Our one lesson on horse riding on the town race course. The flight on a seaplane to Fitzoy, to be met with a medical emergency that I somehow was supposed to the expert (lucky I had been a Boy Scout).  Teaching mixed classes of five to fifteen year olds, while stoking the peat stove to keep warm. Catching the paddock mare to fetch the troop, before getting my own ride, for going to the next outhouse. Drinking grappa with the Argentinians in Bluff Cove, after I got lost on the way town for Christmas. Diving into the harbour to try to find a couple of drunk Chilean sailors. Dancing the Sicasean Circle during several "two nighters" in the school hall, with folk walking miles from other settlements, to get there.  New Year at Goose Green, where the bunkhouse burnt down during the celebrations... Everything, up to flying home on a BOAC Comet.

That's before trying to describe the kelpers, those great folk who live there.

The impact my placement has had on me

After this I was older and maybe a little wiser. Probably it had a great effect on me and my attitude to other cultures. I have lived in many other countries since then. Maybe I have continued to put altruism above wealth, with evident success.


Fitzroy Farm
Falkland Islands

-51.7878915, -58.2288497