The latest from Miss Jenny Ruth, our intrepid Travel Corespondent, outside of Cochabamba, Bolivia:
hello all and sorry if it´s too much information for you, i wrote this to a friend who asked and thought i´d pass it on, for the record.
i left my spider monkeys yesterday and i miss them oh so much today that i could cry. i took these really great videos and pictures with my camera but then it was stolen by some capuchins, the little criminals. they steal everything but they´re so damn cute that next thing you know you´re throwing them in the air and letting them drink your spit (they love spit).
the spider monkey work went like this:
7:30 am-- letting out of big cages and feeding them buckets of bananas and api, an oatmeal type thing, which they love, then laying around and hugging and cuddling them for awhile
9:00 am--washing "monkey ropa" which is the blankets that they sleep with and you scrub the shit and piss out of in a sink with soap and cold water and a brush.
10:00 am--cleaning cages, by far the most disgusting thing that i hope to ever do in my life.
11:00 am--lunch preparation. lunch is the most beautiful selection of seasonal fruits that i could wish for.
12:00 pm--lunch is served in big bowls on big tables which they all sit around on and very cutely relish in eating.
afternoon: the volunteers alternate between taking breaks and cuddling monkeys, one of my favorite times of the day. sometimes you just lay there with four monkeys passed out on top of you.
3:30 pm--monkey walk. for me, the most hilarious part of the day. out of thirty something monkeys, nine are on chords because they have a tendency to dangerously run into town. there are two walks, the jungle one and the beach one. it just seems so ridiculous to be walking monkeys on leashes with the rest of them just in a big herd, following by either walking or swinging through the trees or riding on your shoulders. it´s really great fun for all and we humans would inevitably be drenched in sweat and tripping and falling the whole time.
5:00 pm--dinner is served. dinner is veggies, also fresh and always tempting, followed by more api.
5:30--7 pm-- bedtime. they all go in their proper cages with blankets, which they love, and some give the sweetest bedtime hugs.
wow, that was really long. sorry if it´s a bit boring but i copied it to send to my mom too who would like to hear it. we slept in provided accomodations which were totally shitty and dirty. huge centipedes, yes, and the monkeys found a gigantic tarantula the other day which was really fun to watch them all gather around and poke at, capuchins and spider monkeys both.
three monkeys died during my month there, which was very sad. two, one being one of my absolute favorites (named jenny), died by electrocution from grabbing the power line in town. one, fortunately not jenny, i actually watched die, after we were unable to coerce her back into the park. it was my last day and an all around very sad one. the thing that saved me was that some of my favorite ones came running to me as i entered the park, with whooping monkey noises, big hugs and happy monkey stuff that you soon recognize. well, bye bye monos.
think i'll finally take some spanish in this pretty city called sucre, where i arrived this morning. hope you guys are well and i always love to hear about your lives as well.
much love to all,