Published: August 1st 2012July 30th 2012
Today I was on Hyenas, so when we got down there we were just gunna put the leash on them and take them for a walk so we yelled for them saying puppies! puppies! to no avail. We legit could not find them, we even walked the whole enclosure, finally we found them hiding in a bush, silly puppies!so I put Ed's leash on and I have to practically drag him down and out of the gate. We only make it like 20 yards before he sits and makes it perfectly clear he is not going any farther, so we ask Tamz and she says its okay to take them back in, Shanzi didn't want to go for a walk either. We finish up with the hyenas and feed them and change water and eventually make it back up to the restaurant for breakfast, scrambled eggs and toast. Since it's monday, it's changing day. Two volunteers are leaving, Kaitlyn (US) and Carole (Swiss) so we have to say our goodbyes before project time. We hug and all the americans gather around for an picture :) It feels like we've been working together way longer than one week.
After our good-byes
Tamz takes us down to one of the big lion enclosures that is currently empty. Our job for today is to clean it up, easier said than done, let me tell you. There were only 5 of us plus Tamz because some people were on meat prep and others got pulled to go get snake cases. Our job was to pick up all the bones, fix the fence, and dig up all the prickly bushes. In an enclosure this big, that was a ginormous job, because the lion could have been living there a really long time and obviously no one (except maybe Ashley), would have been allowed in with it especially not to clean it out. So I chose bone duty, my god were there a lot of bones! The worst part was carrying the bones to the pile because it was such a big enclosure if you found some at the other side then you'd have to carry it on over. It was quite exhausting. I found lots of ribs, skulls, vertebrae, normal bones, and worst of all horse legs with the hoof still attached. Its crazy how much I've already changed in just one week, the sight
of these bones didn't even phase me, I even stuck my finger right through the eye hole of some of the skulls to pick them up. At one point, I was waiting for Chantel and i put the skull up to my face to look at and I was comparing out teeth, and I bit down (just on air obviously) and then I hear Pascal laughing and I turn to see them watching me, they made fun of me later but horses teeth are so weird! They only have five teeth in the front and then a bunch on either side but theres a big gap! Hiding behind a bush we found half a horse skeleton from it's head down to its ribs, with it's hooves nearby, that was the biggest piece all day. Pascal was dragging the skeleton to the pile with me behind but the head kept bobbing up and down with all the bumps until it finally broke off. More people ended up coming to help us and not five minutes later Yara appeared saying we had a handling so three of us left for that and you have no idea how excited I was that there
was a car waiting to take us to the restaurant! The handling was for these two little girls so we had to get Ruby and Judah in the small enclosure because the girls weren't big enough to interact with Amber and Or.
After the handling, the people who left for the snakes arrived back so we helped them unload and wash stuff. By that time it was lunch, the ladies had made burgers and fries for us, yum! After lunch we had to wash out what used to be fish bowls because we are going to use them for geicos. You would think none of them had owned a fish! They thought it smelled disgusting, and quite honestly compared to meat prep, this could've been perfume. So I'm in charge of the group cleaning them because I'm the only one who can deal with the smell. It was pretty funny because they all still had rocks in them and if you have ever cleaned a fish tank you know some rocks stick to the bottom and so I scooped them out with my hands and Jacob called me a champ because he wouldn't have done it.
of the tanks were cleaned we had quite a few handlings to do. I hate when youre in a handling and you take the perfect shot....with someone elses camera, I finally got a lion yawning, so I took out my ipod and took a picture of the picture. The cool thing about handlings though is that you get to meet a lot of cool people who are traveling. One group of people were volunteering nearby and had the day off, some people live in the area and come in for handling every so often and watch them grow up, it just really cool to hear all the stories. Of course you are dealing with people so there are bound to be some sour ones, like this guy who watched us go in for a handling and said oh thats cool, I wanna go next and I said, well you have to go in and buy a ticket and then we'll take you in and he goes oh I don't want to pay for it and Yara goes its a once in a lifetime opportunity and he was like no its not. So we just let him be and didn't talk
to him anymore, but at dinner time we were all talking and someone else had brought him up and apparently he had been rude to all the volunteers, I just don't see how you can be that angry in South Africa in front of these beautiful cats.
When the handlings finally cooled down, me and a few others went in for quality time with the lions. I sat near Joseph and was petting him and others wanted pictures with Jason who was right near him. When the others came near, Joseph didn't really like it, so I tried petting him to calm him down, but his claws came out and he reached for my leg so I got it out of his reach, but the girl taking a picture for someone else didn't think it was nice for my foot to be in the girls picture even though she really couldn't care less. So she made me put my foot back near Joseph and wouldn't even listen as I tried to explain why my foot was there in the first place. So of course that made Joseph angry and he scratched me. It's my first scratch that broke skin
since I've been here and would have been totally preventable if some people weren't so stupid. It's really small and not that big of a deal but some people just seriously bug me.
When the new volunteers had arrived from the airport a bunch of us started talking to them and telling them about the place and hearing their stories. They all seem really cool, its not like youre gunna spend all this money to come here when you have a crappy attitude and hate animals. At feeding time we found out that Ashley and Ashley had gone to the farm and picked up 3 baby calves and 2 cows for meat so we gave the 6 big cats 2 calves and a calf to the two babies and we fed everyone else normally.
I wasn't really feeling a big dinner so Emily and I had leftover shepards pie from the other day's lunch. Then we made our way back to the cabin and got ready. Jacob had made a fire so we went and chilled outside and talked to the newbees again. Gee is in my group so she'll start working with us on wednesday because she'll
be getting her tour tomorrow and I found out that we can be expecting a new girl Alice in our room on Thursday.
End of week 1!
There are more photos below