May 10th - 11th

Published: May 17th 2014
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Volunteers Su and Jennie agreed to bring our laundry in to town for us so we could stay at camp for the weekend. Jacob couldn't bear the idea of leaving. It meant that we could feed the animals 4 more times. There is nothing like the experience of opening the door to the young spider monkey cage and pushing them back, so that I can get through the door to dump their food bucket on the platform. Long fingered hands reach around me to sneak bits from the bucket. One holds on to me with a hand and the door with his tail. They are sweet, curious and exhilarating. I made it through the tapir enclosure without a nibbled hip this time. I did get stuck in the baby howlers cage for a bit. I was replacing their water and was by myself, so when I opened their inner door, I had no way of stopping them from coming out at the same time. I tried to entice them back in with bananas, but they wanted to eat the vine that was weaving itself up the mesh of the cage. Finally, Denny(staff) came and the rushed away, back into the cage and I could close their door and then exit the safety area. It was funny. I think I like the adult howlers the best. They are the most difficult. We have to put their food in two separate areas, because the dominant male will stop some of the others from eating, if they don't have two spots. That means that he has to be enticed into the first eating area, then we close the door so that we can go in the second area. He is dominant enough that you can't go into the cage when he is there. The problem is that he is smart, and knows the pattern, so unless he is really hungry he won't follow the food, he just sits in the entrance to the room so the door can't be closed, naughty monkey. I got to see a few more monkeys who were not in a cage, tiny little tamarin monkeys were handing out by the tapir enclosure. I love it.

One other volunteer stayed at camp with us, Annick is Canadian too and just arrived on Friday. So after our second set of animal feeding we walked to Amazon Planet. We played cards and had beers and cola. Then as we were trying to figure out how we would get back in the dark, the staff from the resort invited us to join them in looking for caimans. They take their guests onto the river and look for the shiny eyes of the white caimans reflecting in the flashlight. So we got a free ride up the river and saw a number of caiman slide into the river when we passed. They left us at our dock and we went up to a now cold supper, quite pleased with ourselves.

As usual, when everyone got back from town, we had to unload supplies. The long chain of people passed up 70 lb sacks of potatoes and carrots. propane tanks and huge containers of generator gas. I then went and helped in the animal kitchen. They soak the veggies for the animals in a bleach rinse to ensure that the animals do not get sick. They then need to rinse with fresh water and put away. It takes quite a while. The bustle and noise of a filled kitchen was warming when I returned to the mess hall for supper Jacob has been winning more and more games of cards and rummyklub. I don't know if people will keep allowing him to play. We stayed up late reading (9:00pm) and felt almost reckless.

Good Night and Sweet Dreams


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