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Nou de helft van de helft zit er alweer op de tijd vliegt als je hier bent.
Deze week heb ik weer een aantal nieuwe maar ook een aantal van dezelfde activiteiten gedaan als vorige week. Zo is het voeren van de dieren iets wat natuurlijk veel gedaan moet worden en dat heb ik dus ook een paar keer gedaan de afgelopen week. Verder zijn er meerdere projecten lopende waar aan gewerkt moet worden, zoals de nieuwe dierenkooien en het nieuwe dierenhospital/keuken. Hier heb ik de afgelopen week aan beide 1 dag besteed en het dierenhospital/keuken is nu bijna af en willen ze eigenlijk binnen 2 weken gaan gebruiken, misschien kan ik dus nog zien wat het absolute eindresultaat is. Verder heb ik de afgelopen week weer nieuwe ervaringen opgedaan, nieuwe activiteiten meegemaakt en nieuwe dieren gezien, waaronder 2 keer een bruine kolibrie en een mega schildpad die zo hard mogelijk wegliep/rende toen hij ons ondekt had, wat niet erg snel was. Verder moesten de normale klusjes ook gedaan worden wat bestond uit harken en de paden begaanbaar houden met de machetes, en dat soort dingen.
Volgende week zal het er iets anders uitzien dan normaal, we gaan namelijk met bijna de hele groep op woensdag naar een meer tussen Taricaya en Puerto waar veel vogels en andere dieren leven, er is een kans dat er op dat moment ook rivierdolfijnen zijn maar dan moeten we een beetje geluk hebben. Bij het meer kunnen we zwemmen en achteraf kunnen we er ook eten :D Daar kijk ik wel erg naar uit omdat het me erg leuk lijkt om allemaal te zien.
Er zijn de afgelopen week weer nieuwe mensen bij gekomen, 2 mensen kwamen en vandaag en gister zijn er in totaal ook weer 2 mensen vertrokken dus daar is weer evenwicht in.
Afgelopen dinsdag was nog een speciale dag want 2 van de vrijwilligers die ...
Continuing my blog posts about the wide variety of activities offered at the Conservation Program of Taricaya…
One of my favorite activities to do at Taricaya! The resident jaguar, Preciosa, does not get fed each day at Animal Feeding like the other animals. Instead, she gets fed once a week, typically Friday afternoon during the optional activity slots.
Not to worry, you won’t be going inside the cage, face to face with her, while she is out. Instead, Preciosa is locked up in her little house connected to the main part of the cage so she can’t be tempted to have an early appetizer of volunteers before her main course.
Once she is securely locked away, the group goes in to clean. Her large water container must be dumped out by hand with buckets, a very wet and nasty job but it must be done so that it can be refilled with clean water. The bones of her last meal, dead leaves, and her poo get raked up as well. The large branches and leaves that Preciosa hides under are removed to give her fresh ones every week.
After the enclosure is cleaned out, her food and enrichment for the week is brought in. Hunks of raw meat are hidden throughout the cage so that she has to hunt for them. The enrichment she receives is typically a large bag or a papier-mâché cardboard boxes with leaves and more meat inside that she has to tear open to get enjoy the treats within. Also, perfume or cologne is sprayed in random spots to give Preciosa scent enrichment.
Once everything is in place, it’s time to set her free. Cleaning and preparing the cage for Preciosa usually takes an hour so don’t be surprised if other volunteers show up around this time. They may not have felt like offering their help that week ...
Yes, she does deserve her own blog among other things including an award for definately being the best host mom in the world. Honestly, she´s probably the most dependable person I know. I even refer to her as mom in casual conversation, ¨No I can´t eat at the center, I didn´t tell mom I wasn´t coming home for lunch.¨ I even worry about being a little late for when she expects me to back because I don´t want to disappoint her. She literally spoils Cara and I. First, we have some kind of vegetable in or around every meal. It´s also starting to become rare for us to have potatos and rice on the same plate. Totally not in typical peruvian style. I know another volunteer who I call Denmark who only had brocoli once her entire stay in Peru. I had it what like 4 times the first week at least. Also, every morning she makes either some kind of fruit juice, avena, or a drink with quinou. It´s literally heaven. I don´t have a desire to eat my meals, unless someone offered me a fountain of peanutbutter, elsewhere. She even packed Cara and I dinner for when we went to MachuPiccu and was so worried we´d leave for our train before she came back from the market for lunch. She has such a big heart it´s incredible and she really cares about the well being of the volunteers under her roof.
I´m trying to remember how to cook the food she makes so I can make them at home, and americanize them just a tad. For instance today we had pretty much what I would call Tuna Burgers. It was tuna, eggs, vinegar, a little bit of flour, spinach, and tomatoes. It was heavenly. Add some onion and garlic in that and top with guacamole it would be ...
This weekend Cara and I went to MachuPiccu and climbed Huayna Piccu and I´ve never been so thoroughly exhausted. After the hike to Huayna Piccu my legs were seriously shaking. The Incas needed three carbs on their plate just to have enough energy to walk up those steep steps let alone carry impossibly large rocks and other materials to build their temples. I don´t know how they did it. Hosting my own body weight around MachuPiccu was exhausting enough for me. Anyway, MachuPiccu was spectacular. The views were incredible and it´s amazing how much the Incas accomplished with little tools. It was just amazing. They even let alpacas roam around the site too. I was so surprised when we saw one coming straight towards us... do they bite and is this creature going to charge at me? This experience is definately going to be one that I remember for the rest of my life.
This week the center finally opened in qotowincho. The first day was beyond frustrating. My sorority always jokes about being on AEPHI time which means we run late for everything, but peruvian time is a lot worse. Two of the workers didn´t even show up for three hours and then left within an hour. Also, it´s hard having all the activities planned out for the mothers as well. It´s so hard to keep their attention when they don´t even want to play the games we had. About 8 mothers came for breakfast and only two stayed all the way through lunch. The others of course returned for the lunch hour.
Today was a lot smoother, partially because Cara and I planned and were expected the frustration and partially because one of the other workers for the project actually does ...
I am sorry for the delay in writing my activity journals! Got caught up in holiday things and family emergencies. But now I'm ready to work on these blogs that I hope will help future volunteers going to Peru's Conservation Program in Taricaya understand more about their placement before they arrive. So here's the first one!
This is the activity that you will do most often in your stay are Taricaya, the one you’ll become the most familiar with, as it must be done twice a day, every single day, come rain or sunshine. By the end of three months, I had lost track of the number of times I’d done it. I felt like an expert and could even instruct new volunteers on the basics.
The start of the activity is preparing food for the animals in the Animal Kitchen. That means washing and cutting all the fruits and vegetables, boiling a whole pot full of eggs, and handle chicken legs and hearts. Each animal enclosure has its own bowl marked with the species that receives it. Sheets of diet information hang on the wall, displaying the morning and afternoon portions each creature eats. Once all the food is measured, washed, sliced, and placed in the right bowl, it is taken over to the Rescue Center, where the water tap is stationed so that you can get water for the animals.
In pairs, the volunteers and staff take a bowl of food and water, and spread out through the Center to each enclosure. Those with experience are always partnered with someone with less experience, and if there’s any animal that makes you uncomfortable, you only have to say so; no one will make you come face to face with an animal you don’t like. Following the protocol of each enclosure (dip your shoes in the disinfectant, locate the animals before ...