Hello to the Alpacas – Exploits of a ‘Tertian’


Now that I have begun to find my feet at the White Violet Center where I am spending the first month of my Tertianship , I have started to work with the Alpacas each morning.

My day begins (after an unusually long lie-in) at 8am with a tour around each of the alpaca pastures. Cleaning, feeding, changing water and generally saying hello to the 63 extremely cute alpacas takes about 3 hours… then its back to the Center for  a break before another quick stint before lunch.

Alpacas are very gentle creatures and seem to have a lovely temperament. They do spit in self defence, and supposedly it is horrible, but so far so good – no spit yet!

What am I learning? Well I have been reflecting on the relationship between us and the creatures we depend for our food, our clothes etc. I am learning to appreciate the effort and time put into so many of the things I can easily take for granted.

I love to be in with the alpacas, to be beside a species that is so different from me and yet so trusting of me – it gives me real joy… maybe there are some parallels to reflect on there too with regard to our human relationships. It’s not always so easy to appreciate difference when it isn’t cute and alpaca shaped!

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7 Responses to “Hello to the Alpacas – Exploits of a ‘Tertian’”

  1. Maria Eugênia Freitas Says:

    How lovely to read your post about the alpacas. I have the impression that they are lovely creatures as you said, it feels like cuddling them, I don’t know if they’d allow this. But the main thing is how your whole description gives a sense of peace. It seems a lovely place to be in. Hopefully there will be no spitting.

    • Lynne fcJ Says:

      Yes it is a beautiful and peaceful place…
      Alpacas are quite friendly and will let you be very near to them but they don’t really like to be held… they will come and stand very close and you can touch their necks and backs. They seem very inquisitive and like the company.

  2. Rachel fcJ Says:

    Welcome to the USA, if I can say that from Indonesia. Big change from Liverpool! where I should land on November 3, God willing. Happy greetings to the alpacas – you’ll soon be great friends with the whole tribe! Lots of love,
    Rachel fcJ

  3. Tamzin Says:

    Glad you’re enjoying the experience, Lynne. The alpacas look so sweet on the photo. Hope you continue to escape the spit, although according to wikipedia, they generally only spit at each other and only occasionally at humans…

  4. Lynne fcJ Says:

    Thanks everyone – I think they spit at each other most, but if you are trying to do something like give medicine you are fair game for spitting too! It is there only form of defence – they don’t have upper teeth so they can’t bite 🙂

  5. Claire fcJ Says:

    It is good to get your news, Lynne. – Why are the alpacas kept? Is it for their fleece or simply because they are lovely creatures?

    Did you realise that when we wore the old habit the bit on the front of the ‘headgear’ was made of black alpaca? I seem to remember it being quite strong material. Apparently Queen Victoria liked the fabric too and set the trend for alpaca dresses, (the skirts of which were full and stiff – rather like huge black lampshades.) …So when you tend your spitting alpacas tomorrow thank God for all they have given the world of fashion, – not forgetting the bits for our old habits.

  6. Lynne fcJ Says:

    Hi Claire
    Alpacas are kept because they have an organic farm here and alpaca manure is one of the ‘richest’ manures! They need relatively little pasture and they also produce extremely soft fibre – it goes stiff and course when felted, a process I am learning! But I am also learning to weave, spin and knit.

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