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Inti Wara Yassi - Loving It More and More Every Day

all seasons in one day 28 °C

I have exciting news! I went 2 days without getting bitten – good times, good times! My run was ended by Pequeno who decided that he didn’t want to hang out with me anymore and that a hard bite on the finger was appropriate behaviour to get rid of me…he was right. He got me good and it bled a lot. He got me right on the end of my finger, one of his canines was stopped by my nail however the other went in nice and deep through the bottom of my finger. All part of the job though, and we’re still friends :)

We have 2 new volunteers in Quarantine and unfortunately they suck. They are sooooooooo slow at doing anything and it is beginning to rub on my nerves. It’s shitty when you are hard at work scrubbing under cages and you look up and someone is just standing with a broom playing with the monkeys. There’s not much I can do about that though. I have come to realise that some people inevitably come here to volunteer with the mentality of more play than work which doesn’t bode well for the rest of the team that actually want to finish the day before it’s pitch black. People need to be reminded that we are here for the animals. You can play with them all you want but if they are sleeping in shit they are going to get sick and die then there is no more monkeys to play with. Sorry for the rant I’ll stop now.

The days have been starting so promising with no clouds in the sky so I decided to scrub my clothes and hang them out. It was sunny all day until 6pm at which point the heavens opened up and everything on the lines back at the casa were drenched. This is a frustrating process that repeats every day.

Today I finally broke through to the massive males in the pens and got to play with Edwin, Cesar, and Baby! I think that once you get through to one the others see and accept you as well. Cesar is the alpha male in Heaven so I always greet him first – he also gets fed first and gets to play with the biggest branches. He plays rough though and his play bites are very close to piercing the skin. My fingers were all bruised after getting grabbed and man handled by him but there was no aggression so I can’t complain.
Edwin groomed me and it felt soooo good because he is the roughest groomer I’ve ever seen. It was the best scalp massage as he rummaged through my hair looking for dead skin and bugs (of which there were plenty of both). He is really strong though and a few times slammed my head into the side of the cage;pretty funny and scary at the same time.
Baby let me groom him and scratch his back but he wasn’t interested in touching me in return. In fact 2 minutes after I gave him a good scratching he grabbed me when I walked past and viciously sliced his nails down my arm drawing blood. So I still have a fair bit of work with him.

Patty started going on heat today and she is the craziest one on heat that I’ve encountered. I was unable to clean the corner of Quarantine that she was in because she was being so psycho. Giving me the sexy face all morning but if I got too close she would pick up rocks and throw them at me. At one point she tricked me and walked away so I got in closer to sweep and she turned and lunged at my head. She grasped onto my head and when I started walking away and her runner was pulling her off me she decided to go into attack mode while sitting on my head. I made a run for it but she still managed to take a chunk out of the shoulder as she fell off. The other bite only got my boot so that was lucky. Crazy monkeys! I love ‘em!

We’ve been doing a fair bit of construction with Jackie. She is one of the very few Bolivian volunteers and loves changing up the areas putting in new obstacle and redesigning runners. It’s been pretty fun. I’ve never really done construction before but today I dug two pole holes through cement with a sledgehammer and pick. I discovered that digging a hole is a pretty satisfying activity. Although the blisters hurt, but they do look pretty manly and the monkeys like to lick them.

Once again at around 6pm it started raining – although this time soo heavy that we couldn’t even hear each other from the noise of rain on the roofs and ground. I decided to try and avoid my boots from getting saturated and decided to strip down to my boardies and finish the day embracing the rain. It made me feel good when I watched everyone else emptying small lakes from their boots – tomorrow I’ll have dry boots.

I’ve been working now for 10 days and it’ssooooo fucking cool being here. This is probably the best thing I’ve done in my life. I love it here and totally understand why some volunteers have been here for 3 or even 5 years.

Cheers, Kyle

Posted by KyleMac 17:14 Archived in Bolivia Tagged monkey animal baby coca volunteer tortuga male thunderstorm puente puma bite capuchin edwin quarantine cesar cochabamba pepper yassi pequeño inti alpha tunari villa_tunari ciwy wara espiritu_santo_bridge totito patty

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I am soooo glad you are happy, bites and all. You remind be of all those movies I watched with people doing what you are doing now but in Africa or in the jungles. I hope this doesn't mean we have lost you to the Inti Wara Yassi! :)

by chris tayler

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