Thursday, 11 December 2008


Hello all

Had a nice evening yesterday. Staggered up the road with my heavy bags, including bananas and apples from the market. I made sure I got home before dark this time - much easier! And I was greeted by the welcome sight of Little Monkey in her carrier case, on the sofa. So I let her out and she immediately started jumping around. Then I bottle fed her from a tiny bottle! I had to put her back while I had a shower. Again, there was no water, so had to wash using a dustbin full of collected water from the shower and a mug. But that's okay, it was better as I could stop my feet from getting wet as I have a blister that I need to keep dry.

I had my tea on the patio with our resident cat. But he wouldn't stop jumping about and trying to eat my tea (a sort of pastie) and an apple so I went back indoors. He also ran into the house which he isn;t allowed to do so had to chase him back out!

The rest of the evening was spent reading in my room, a great delight.

I joined Sam today for two days of looking after small monkeys - mangabeys and guenons. They are very sweet. We chopped up some fruit for them and then fed them and also gave them bananas. The smallest monkeys were very curious to meet me so I stood next to the cage to let them reach out and examine their new keeper. They like to touch you and then sniff your hand. They also wanted my watch and my hair band! At one point one of them was grooming my hair.

Sam cleaned the cage and I carried the bucket to the rubbish tip outside the centre. Then we moved on to the mangabeys. We had to pass the screaming chimpanzees. Honestly, they make soo much racket, it's like passing a mental asylum...when they go off all the other animals look alarmed. Not sure I want to work with them as they have a habit of throwing their poo and stones at you (!) So I may pass on that one.

Anyway we fed the mangabeys their fruit and bananas and Sam began cleaning their cage. He also cleaned out the African grey parrots' food tray. There are quite a few of them, I think they were smuggled as pets. They hang around as they don't have enough wing feathers to fly yet. It's great seeing them all in the trees and hearing their whistles and distinctive noises. We used to have one as a pet so their sounds in particular remind me of dear Kiki.

Sam had to separate the large aggresive mangabey male from the cage so he could clean it without being attacked. So he chucked a hard-boiled egg and some monkey nuts into an adjoining section and it took a lot of patience and waiting until the male entered the cage. He was torn between wanting the egg and also his freedom. Sam said you have to use a lot of brain power when working with monkeys, more than the people who work in the office. You have to outsmart them and think like a monkey!

We had some free time so I spent it trying to take pics of the monkeys. Boy were they difficult! They kept trying to grab my camera and at one point I had a right old tug of war match with a large mangabey. One smacked me on the face too, so I will have to be careful!

Then it was lunch of some strange looking stuff served up in a palm leaf. Quite tasty though, to my relief.

And to my delight Sam has just told me that we are not needed until 3pm to feed the parrots, so that gives me an hour and a half! So that's why I've come down here to update you all.

Patricia has asked me to take Tiny Monkey home today as she is busy. So that will be interesting, carrying her case up the road.

And Eveline has invited me to her house on Saturday week to meet her son and she said she will help me to plan the two weeks when Martin comes. She has offered to take us by bus up to the north, so we shall see.
She admired my wellies today (pink and paisley) so I think I will give them to her. Hope they are her size.

A man fixing the roof asked me for my phone number today so I told him my husband would be angry and he immediately backed off and apologised. Now when I smile at him he looks away, a complete contrast to the other day!

I might sit with the drills before feeding the parrots. When I walked past the drills carrying my bucket one was nonchalantly sitting outside the enclosure, casually passing the time of day. I looked twice to confirm that she was in fact outside of the cage. I told the keeper but he wasn't particularly worried and said she does that a lot, escapes, but comes back again. Talking of which, one of the little geunons has a back leg missing. Jack told me that she escaped one for a few days and eventually made her way back to the centre where she thought she was safe. Unfortunately she entered the chimps' enclosure, where they set upon her and tried to tear her apart...phew!

So as well as entertaining Little Monkey plan to wash some clothes tonight (you get so filthy here) and then to read

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