So long and thanks for all the almond leaves

Trip Start Jan 10, 2013
Trip End Jun 06, 2013

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Limon,
Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Today has a bit of a disgusting theme just to warn you. Today I am leaving the sanctuary as I haven't been able to speak to Judy about staying longer as she's still ill. I hope she feels better soon, she really works herself too hard. I'm going to be working today anyway and leave later like most volunteers do, also Missy and Chris are going horse riding after lunch so it would just be Matt on his own.

So yeah, disgusting stuff. I bet you all were thinking nothing could get more disgusting them seeing a sloth with its skin so disintegrated that you could see both finger bones? Or that squeezing pus out of an infected foot would be really gross for me? Oh contraire my friends. Today I reached my gross limit. I was cleaning out the enclosures today and I could see what I at first thought was a really weird lump of poo on clinic sloths platform. Nope it was a fucking huge tick. Now before last week I didn't even know what one of these hideous creatures looked like, sure I knew what they looked like when they were small but these were massive and sort of green with little legs sticking out. Seriously they are so horrid, and I am really grossed out by the idea of them borrowing under your skin and they're head getting stuck in there. BLEUGH. It gets worse. When I went to feed clinic sloth I noticed another huge one hanging off from under her ear and went and got Marcelo. He told me to pull it off, I was like, are you kidding me? But nope he wouldn't do it therefore making me do it. I went and got a glove, screw touching that thing bare handed, and went to pull it off where I noticed it was all squishy and thought, seriously I can't do this! But eventually I pulled it out (with the head boom!) but basically nearly threw up in the process. Gimme bloods, guts and gore any day, bugs you can deal with. I am so much better with bugs now but ticks are beyond disgusting. Poor clinic sloth, no wonder she was feeling crappy. I also noticed that her foot has started oozing pus again, looks like that infection wasn't gone then.

After all the tick drama I then went round all of the enclosure labelling bags of sloth poo for this scientist who is coming to the sanctuary to do tests on the poo. One gross thing to another, although to be fair sloth poo really isn't that terrible. In the meantime Rolo got bit by the new wild sloth in the clinic and bleed everywhere. I went in to feed her and changed her towel, she hissed at me a bit but I reminded her that I was her food supply and she was otherwise really good for me. Now I have run out of most of the liquid in the almond leaf mixture I'm not left with a pulp. They apparently need to eat this too so I have been spoon feeding the sloths. That's right spoon feeding, I feel like I'm looking after a toddler, especially the new wild sloth is just as messy as a toddler and I felt like I should be going 'here comes the aeroplane!' while I was doing it. My sloths in my section all gave me wonderful presents in the afternoon, also in the shape of poo. Usually they go at night but when they go in the afternoon I have to clean it up, all 5 cages of it today. Love you too guys. Marcelo was maybe going to be doing a necropsy today on Bonnie who died the other week and we were all talking about it. Becky told us about a baby sloth called Boo Boo who had come in, they thought he had born severely deformed because of pesticides. The pesticides are extremely strong here and they're put on my plane or helicopter so it's very likely that they spread to the sloths food supplies. Boo Boo was born with basically stumps for legs and arms and (I can't remember the reason) but his skull was basically pushing out his eyes so he had to have his eyes sewn shut. He obviously died so Becky was wondering if he necropsy had been done on him yet. It was so sad though. Poor little thing.

It was raining a bit this morning so I thought we wouldn't have baby time, even better though we had baby snuggle time. This meant I just got to hug with Linus for ages rather then making him climb on the jungle gym-totally not complaining. Can't believe I'm not going to be able to do this again tomorrow. After work I sorted out the rest of the baby stuff for the project and chatted with Becky for a bit, seriously her work seems so cool, totally jealous! They've got a snake man coming to clear the island by the sanctuary for her of as many snakes as possible, totally gutted I'm going to be missing that!

It's lucky I bought a suitcase with me as there is no way I could fit everything in my bag now. Emma and Sara left loads of stuff for me and I've managed to squish it all in. However my suitcase, which currently only has one wheel and one handle, is now splitting at the bottom. Need to make it last till I get to the pacific...somehow! I was struggling getting it on the bus but some nice man helped me on with it. People are so helpful here. I met Missy and Chris after their ride and we had some dinner and drinks at Coco's in Cahuita after I had dumped my bags in a hostel.

Saying goodbye to the sloths today was hard, I know there is the possibility of me coming back here but what if they never get in contact even when they have space? Most of you who know me well enough will know that I often all too easily believe that people do not want me. The thought of never seeing Piphany and the rest of the sloths ever again is honestly so heartbreaking. I know most of you probably think, man up they're only sloths, but as pathetic as you might think I am it feels like leaving a loved one behind. Imagine that you had to leave them and you might never see them again. It's like being broken up with! So call me whatever you want but there's the truth. I have left my heart and soul at the sanctuary and hopefully I will be able to go back and collect them again some day soon.
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