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STUDENT FILES: Lac La Hache student happy to work with Free Press

Charlotte Oliver is one of two high school students writing for the Free Press this year
Charlotte Oliver is one of two students at Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School who is writing for the 100 Mile Free Press this year. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

If we weren’t given the opportunity to live here, I wouldn’t be the outgoing person I am today.

My name is Charlotte Oliver. On Dec. 1st, 2019, my family and I, (My mum and my brother), moved from North Vancouver to an 800-acre ranch in Lac La Hache.

We knew nothing about looking after a ranch, however we were going to make this the best experience.

There were 12 pigs, two horses and around 30 cows. The house was a small log home heated by only a wood stove. Being used to living in a basement suite in North Vancouver, this was much better.

On the second day living there, it snowed a lot! There wasn’t any wood at the house, therefore we had to go out, cut the trees down and collect it ourselves. By we, I mean my mum, since my brother was nine and I was 12. The work was a lot but there was more to be learned. My mum learned how to drive a tractor and take care of all the animals. Although we were young, we helped as much as we could.

Winter was difficult when it would drop down to –35C, however, the spring and summer we eagerly looked forward to. My brother and I would go out on the pond in the canoe and find hundreds of toads. At night, we would take the side by side out onto the 400-acre field behind the big red barn and watch the stars and satellites. We had never seen a sky so big and bright! That was a memory I’ll never forget.

I spent my 13th birthday there, and I remember being so upset that I was growing up. At least to me. I personally feel like 13 is a big step in a kid’s life because you are now a teenager. I was so excited to grow up but yet so scared.

I still get a little afraid now and then at 16 for what the future might hold.

We no longer live at the ranch, although we still live in Lac La Hache overlooking the large, beautiful lake that always has the most stunning sunsets. I love living here much more than I did in Vancouver. The people and the weather are so much nicer.

I’ve now been at PSO high school since Grade 8 and it has been such a crazy up-and-down experience for me.

I have enjoyed writing since I was 11 and have always wanted to make a career out of it. I have looked into journalism before, always thinking it would be something I would like to get into.

I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to report on community events throughout the year including local markets, rodeos and other organized activities.

Writing for the 100 Mile Free Press will be a great experience for me to further my passion in a journalism career.