Friday, 12 December 2008


Dear all

Have been working again with the little monkeys today - the guenons and mangabeys. Yesterday when I went back one of the guenons was sick so it had to be caught, which takes at least two people as they are so agile, even when sick. So Sam, another man and Theresa the other volunteer entered the cage with a huge capture net. After much scrabbling about and chasing, Patricia eventually cornered the monkey, but it was up high. So without so much as a thought she climbed up and grabbed its tail and eventually brought it down. Phew!

Last night caught up on some washing and spent some more precious time with Little Monkey. She perched on top of my book - good job it was a thick paperback...

Was rudely awoken this morning at 6am by the a man's voice which was amplified by a megaphone; every time he spoke (shouted) a large crowd of voices shouted back, enthusiastically. It sounded like an outdoor church. It was so loud! And not welcome...zzz. (I think even God was covering His ears at that hour) This followed a short bout of thunder and lightening.

Later I told Sam about the early morning preaching and he said that he gets up in the middle of the night sometimes to pray for an hour and a half. He obviously takes his religion very seriously

Today was Patricia's last day as a volunteer after three months and she is going back to France. I must admit feeling a little envious as I wouldn't mind going back home as I am missing everyone. She bought all the ingredients for our lunch today - a mixture of spaghetti, yams, spinach-type veg, and a hot fish stew, followed by donoughts and washed down with coke and other fizzy delights. I discovered today that most afternoons are relatively free, with most of the work being done in the morning. So after lunch, at 1pm I was free until 4pm.

So - I decided to be really brave and adventurous and venture into town for some supplies. I have been too afraid to before. I took the bull by the horns and flagged down a passing taxi, which is in fact a motorbike. You agree the price - 150 francs (20p) and they take you into town. The man wanted to charge me 400f but I said no and stuck to my guns! Well it was quite exhilerating, zooming along (I told him not to go fast, so that was okay) with the hot wind in our hair (well mine, anyway). I felt soo pleased with myself. When I got off had no idea where to go, was looking for a little food store that Sandy had shown me the other day. There were market stalls every where, selling fruit, peanuts, books, shoes and DVDs. Eventually I found the shop I was looking for - horaay. I bought lots of sardines, some tomato puree and a fanta orange. I walked back and bought some bananas from an old lady who had a stall by the side of the road. Six bananas for 20p!

Then I came to the internet shop but it wasn't working so went back to the Centre for the afternoon. I had about one and a half hours to kill but it was fine. I spent some time with the little duiker (like a tiny antelope) and it gently licked my hand with a little hot tongue. Then I spent the rest of my time with the lovely colourful mandrills. My goodness - another handsome species! I spent ages sitting quite close to a male, who took great delight in me. He flashed me his teeth which I have been assured is a sign of friendliness, so I flashed mine back ( my teeth). It was great fun. I took some nice shots too. Finished off the day by feeding the mangabeys and guenons.

Tomorrow I will help with the Nature Club. I will be making finger puppets with the children who attend and also I will be performing an inpromptu puppet show. I hope they like it!

Just received a lovely message from Dad. He asks if the animals have names, well they do, but I don't know them! There are so many and they all look alike. And Little Monkey has a name but i can never quite catch it when people say it and i don't like to ask, so to Aunty Jane she is Little Monkey. Most of the animals are named after the places where they were rescued, like Douala, or after the people who rescued them.

1 comment:

Maurice said...

I now cracked this Blog thing with Alice's help.
I assume that none of the animals have a name. It all sounds so marvellous. No doubt, there's an opening there for Tesco.
I am very proud of my little Daughter, what some lovely pics you will have. You will have to use the Blog pages as a basis for a book.

Luv, ya. Dad