Wednesday, 10 December 2008


Hello all, well I had a lovely evening with me and the little monkey (and she was a little monkey - wouldn't keep still, jumped around all over the place, tried to remove my earrings, sat on my head, played with my hair, nibbled feet, grabbed a bite of my mars bar when I wasn't looking and wee wee - ed on the chair...)

Woke up this morning and felt sad again. We left the house at 7.30 for a 10 minute walk to the wildlife centre. Just before the raising of the flag I felt terrible, so sad and homesick and I had to fight back the tears so no one noticed. So I decided to stay in the moment, to work on that, which is always a valuable thing to do, wherever you are in the world. Began the day greeting Eveline in the kitchen and we sorted bananas again, then it was on to chopping veg for the gorillas. Later in the morning Simone took me into town into the old market where I could at last exchange some money. We went to a tiny pokey shop which sold washing powder, honey, etc. I felt rich! Yesterday I had virtually no money and had to but an item back in the bakery. Bought some apples and bananas which was great, as I feel I need some fruit. Then back to the centre for lunch. There was great excitement as apparently a large python had appeared and scared the living daylights out of some of the keepers! It soon slithered away though, proving the old adage: "it's more scared of you than you are of it..." Which reminds me. Yesterday I saw a python in a cage here, along with a lovely fluffy bunny rabbit. I was horrified to discover was, yes you've guessed it - food for the python! But he didn't want it so now the rabbit is in a cage. But for how long I don't know. It's just like a pet rabbit that we would have but it was sold in the market to eat.

After lunch I met Wilson, who is in charge of education and I showed him my puppets and we had a chat about what we are going to do at the children's Nature Club on Saturday.

Afternoon was taken up with chopping fruit - maybe guava?? And tidying up, and also cooking loads of rice and beans and veg on a large wood burning oven in a shed. Honestly, these gorillas eat better than us!

To my great delight we finished today at 3.20 so I was free to spend the rest of the afternoon meeting the drills. These are wonderful monkeys with expressive faces which are black, just like an African mask. I had the great privilege of being able to get close to the wire. I just sat there for an hour. A large male took an interest in me and eventually showed me his pink and blue bottom, which apparently means he likes me...every time any smaller ones came along to take a look at the large human monkey, he chased them away. Anyway, it was an afternoon of great submission from many of the drills and then the mandrills as they all took turns to come up to me and to show me their bottoms! Well what a sight...and of course I complemented each one on their colourful posterior. Well it's only polite, isn't it, if someone takes the time to be so intimate with one??

Later on I studied the mandrills - they are sooo amazing with their wonderful red and blue faces. If you've never seen one, then google them! Apparently they are the strongest monkey species, so it's a good job they liked me, eh? One even smiled at me by showing his yellow teeth. Their fur positively glows, it is so fine and multicoloured.

So I had a wonderful time, taking lots of lovely pics. On the way I met an olive babboon who was very friendly and wanted to hold my hand. I found some fruit on the floor and gave it to him and he took it very gently. Very sweet. I thought he might snatch aggresively, but no.

So here I am catching up with you all and shall head back to the house before it;s dark, last night I went back in the dark and couldn't find the right house and tried to unlock gates of the wrong residence...phew was very sweaty, up a narrow rocky track with people passing silently like mysterious shadows in the darkness. Was I pleased to find the right house and get in!


angiebabe said...

hello darling
Sounds like you're settling in a bit, just focus on the positive which is all the lovely monkeys and other wildlife. What an interesting day you've had. Alice and I sorted out mums' new room today. We got a miny christmas tree and decorated it and put up photos to make it more homely. The room is huge, more like a betsit! The people all seem really nice. Not sure when she can leave Musgrove, hopefully soon! We'll send her your love on friday when we go. We'll read your blog tomorrow, miss you lots!
loads of love
Annie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Maurice said...

I can't see your ketchup.