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Published: January 21st 2007
Turns out I do get internet here, and although it's slow as hell, it's a pleasure to be able to surf around in my down time.
Anyway let's get to the good stuff - monkeys!
I really don't know how I'm supposed to describe being here. It's amazing and gorgeous and far more than I could have asked for.
The whole sanctuary is huge with about 8 different enclosures and two wild "bandit" troups. Most of the vervets come from past owners, were injured by farmers, found as orphans, or born here.
So far I've had some great opporunities. The first day I was with the orphans...which ROCKED! You just sit and play and feed them. 5 of them in all - Acorn, Nandini, Vibrance, Innocence, and Scooter - and they're about 8 weeks. SO cute. I'll post picures soon.
Yesterday I did some monitering, which means walking around the entire sanctuary with Vicky to check the monkeys for wounds, sickness, etc. It was a gorgeous morning and all the monkeys were happy and healthy. Over those 4 hours I got to meet hundreds of monkeys. It was also great because after getting such a good overview of all the enclosures I have a better feeling for which one I want to work with. (That one would be the Goliath Enclosure but that doesn't mean anyting to you)
THEN I was doing some feeding of two babies and Arthur, the house primatologist, came by to stitch up a hand wound. Wow, to see this guy in action is really amazing. Plus since I was the only one around I got to help him out a bit. The thing about Arther is that he reallllllly loves his monkeys. He used to be a jewelry salesman in Jo'burg and then got stuck with this monkey and twenty-five years later he's turned the whole negative stigma of vervets around in this country (including changing a few laws concerning them) and has this huge 40 hectare primate haven. However, the other thing about Arther is that he's crazy. He tried to convince me yesterday during the surgery that vervets can be humanized through their genetics in ONE generation. This is not true, not in one generation anyway. Nurture trumps nature in that argument.
So then after he left one of the wild bandit vervets, Pepper, came over and basically fell in love with me. She sat on my lap as I fed the babies for a good half hour. LOVED IT!
So that's a pretty good overview of what I've been doing so far. Obviously it's the greatest job I've ever had and I can't wait to see what the rest of my time here brings.
Apart from the monkeys, the people here are fantastic! Everyone's here for different reasons and we seem to compliment each other extremely well.
The living situation is good too. I got a brand new tent (score!) and it's a pretty decent size.
I'll post pics in the next entry - promise!
Total bug bites so far: 12
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