I've arrived!!!

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October 13th 2009
Published: October 13th 2009
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Well after 31 hours plane/airport time I arrived in Pretoria at my backpackers hostel. Not Jo'burg like I thought but close enough. The guys in the hostel said that the crime has moved to Pretoria from Jo'burg so not really safe to wander on my own! As it was my room was in a seperate annex from the main house so I had to walk a block to get to it. They got one of the guys there to walk me back on the nightime. Much safer! I ate with them all too, lots of locals and we're sat watching the matrix and eating spag bol and some spicvy bean salad. Rather yummy and very surreal!
So the next day I got taken to the bus station where I experienced my first South African thunder storm. Appeared out of no-where, threw it down with rain and fork lightening like I've never seen before! Thunder that shook the bus station roof! Amazing.
So I long bus journey up north through fields of shanty towns and mountains with views that were just beautiful. Roads were a little scary but we made it! Was befriended by a South African woman, she wants to come over to England to stay with me and experience the cold. Seemed nice enough but I was a little put off by her asking me to find her an English husband.
Good luck with that lady!

Finally got to Tzaneen and realised just how much hotter it is up north. Temperatures are unreal. I'm told its been around 38 degrees. I may fry. I'll make sure they send my charred remains home.
So got shown to my cabin and up to the cottage where we eat and meet up. Was introduced to the other volunteers and to the dogs. All very charming :-)
Was very excited at dinner time. Cottage pie! Mash potato! I was so happy!

Sooo..... first day at work today. Orientation with Ryan the volunteer co-ordinator then he gave me the guided tour. After a break we got straight in there, prepared the snacks then wandered around the foundation feeding the monkeys. Surreal to have monkey's grabbing food out of my hand. Not something everyone gets to experience!
After lunch I went to sickbay and gave some meds to the monkeys in there. Buttercup is very cute but very spoilt and even though my deal with her was meds then groom she seemed to want it the other way round! Cheeky monkey!
I wandered around giving meds to some of the monkeys in the outside enclosures and got my hair groomed by a monkey with a tiny baby strapped to her chest, I'm told this is good....
So more feeding meds and supplements then finally finished for a shower, the weather is so hot I wouldnt have cared if I'd been hosed down outside. As it is its hot and rather nice! Although i dont think I'll have clean feet the whole time I'm here....

Tomorrow I'm on sickbay and special diets. Looking forward to it! Everyone seems fairly pleased I'm here for 10 weeks, apparently this is a good time for the monkeys to get to know me and for me to make a difference. No orphaned babies have arrived yet but I'm already looking at getting my name down for 24 hour care!

Will update soon!!


14th October 2009

You made it!
Hey, Natalie! Glad you made it safely. I'm leaving in 24 days, so it's nice to read your blog and get a better feel for the place. Looking forward to meeting you in person. Melissa (Pinning My Map)
15th October 2009

Wow! all sounds amazing, and so very far away from life here in dull hull!! Can you name an orphaned monkey after me?! Keep up with the blog, love hearing about what your up to. Missing you loads, sar xxxxxxxx p.s you should have told that woman not to bother with an english husband, there far too much hard work!! ha ha xx

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