Settling in to life away from home at hostel

Charlie Ottrey unpacks his gear and settles into life at the Otago Boys’ High School boarding...
Charlie Ottrey unpacks his gear and settles into life at the Otago Boys’ High School boarding hostel with the help of his parents Sarah and Hamish. PHOTOS: LINDA ROBERTSON
Walking into the Otago Boys’ High School hostel with his entourage (his parents) lugging bag after bag of gear, it was surprising one of Charlie Ottrey’s bags did not have a kitchen sink in it.

The 13-year-old has come from his parents’ sheep and beef farm near Tapanui, and brought all the comforts of home that he might need — including a cricket bat, to deal with any snorers, he joked.

Charlie is one of about 140 boarders who moved into the Otago Boys’ hostel at the weekend, ready to start school this week.

Some of them have come from as far away as Auckland and Stewart Island.

Although Charlie tried hard to put on his bravest face on Saturday during the move in, it was clear that he was going to miss his old life.

"I’ll miss Mum and Dad a wee bit — just a wee bit.

"The thing I’ll miss most though, is being at home on the farm. It’s something to look forward to in the holidays."

Sisters Sarah (14) and Olivia (15) Oram, who are returning to Kavanagh College and starting year...
Sisters Sarah (14) and Olivia (15) Oram, who are returning to Kavanagh College and starting year 10 and year 11 this week, shop for stationery with their mother, Jane-Anne Armstrong-Oram, at Warehouse Stationery, in Dunedin, yesterday.
Trying to show he was already a strong and independent teen, he said he was looking forward to all the new opportunities that would open up this week when he started secondary school.

It would help keep his homesickness at bay, he said.

"I’ll just keep busy and get involved in heaps of activities, and study hard."

Charlie will not be completely removed from family. His older brother, Isaac, is also a boarder at the facility.

Both were following in the footsteps of their father, Hamish, who was also a boarder at the school.

But whether the brothers would acknowledge they were related, remained to be seen.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

 

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