Saturday, 13 December 2008


Took another taxi bike home last night - exhilerating dashing through the hot night air and it beats walking when you are carrying your shopping! Sandy was viewing some videos on her laptop that she had made, mainly of her caring for different primates. One of whom, Anjibolo, is a baby gorilla whom she was given the responsibility of caring for 24 hours a day for a while. I also watched her videos of her time working for CWAF in Cameroon where she spent long days in the forest with two young chimps which were in her constant care, along with a baby macaque. Wow.

Had a nice lie in today, the got some lunch ready and fed the cat.

This afternoon was Nature Club, which meets every week at the Centre from 2-4pm. The children were older than I thought they would be - the youngest looked about 7 or 8 and the oldest was 16, mainly boys, which was also a surprise. They seemed quite shy and wary of me at first. I have heard that in some schools it is quite common for the teachers to beat the children so maybe they were waiting for me to produce my stick...

I took them to study the chimps and also the wonderful mandrills, so see what colour they were. Then we returned to the classroom where they coloured in some finger puppets that I had designed and photocopied for them. The end of the session was taking up with my own puppets - I told them the story of Chella, a male gorilla, who was discovered in the back of a taxi when he was a tiny baby, alongside his dead mother and a stash of illegal drugs. He eventually ended up in the local police station where the police tried to care for him but didn't know what to feed him so he ended up malnnorished and also dehydrated after drinking only beer. Along with Simone and Wilson's help I told them about how he ended up at the Centre and was restored to health. I then produced a tiny baby gorilla puppet. Later I asked if the children if they would like to see what Chella looks like now and they said Yes! And so I produced a huge silverback puppet, much to their amusement. We ended the story by the children taking turns giving him "high five". We also ended up in a group hug, or rather a "squeeze" from some of the more enthusiastic children. I asked them if they wanted to come next week and they said yes so i told them to be on time as some of them were late and the club was half an hour starting.

So now am on here talking to you. Sandy is going to show me a shop tonight where I can get some pasta as am getting fed up with eating bananas...

Yesterday was another "first" - one I thought I would never achieve - I touched a chimp's hand! She was in a cage and Sam was feeding her peanuts so i did too and I touched her huge fingers - they resemble a huge, black bunch of bananas. Wonderful.

1 comment:

Maurice said...

At Nature Clubs, as at parties, the children always enjoy your performances.