Rainsong 2: Electrocutions

Trip Start May 10, 2010
Trip End Jun 16, 2010

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Puntarenas,
Friday, May 21, 2010

Tired of Rainsong living conditions (power went out, electricity went out there were promises of getting it back but all our food went stale and we could not cook) we set out to rent a house owned by one of the volunteers who's parents live in the area and rent out a house for Cabo Blanco volunteers. SO MUCH NICER. There were fans! And actual walls and floors and a shower! And a toilet where we could close the door instead of getting the lodgehouses curtained in outdoor toilet fly open and getting bugs stuck in our jeans! And we could keep food preserved with the fridge! Such mini luxuries were found here! There were 6 of us and we had the house for $100 each total for about 2 weeks before the other girls had to leave and I later switched housing over to Rosario's, this woman in town who rents to Rainsong volunteers. I moved in with Andy from Ireland and Amanda from NYC.

Went to work this morning after having a splendid and much needed two days off with my roomies Molly, Sherri, Amber, Jen, and Christa and found a great discovery! Eggbert can fly! Eggbert (actually Sir Eggbert) is our white throated magpie jay who was found abandoned on the roadside. He didn't know how to fly or self-feed and was so young he still had down feathers. I still have to feed him though, but it's one of my favorite jobs. I take small pinches of ground beef and put my fingers over his head while he opens his mouth widely and loudly. When he swallows he makes a gurgling sound before pleading for more.

In other news: We have a jaguar and two cubs living in the forest behind the Rainsong farm! Apparently the mother jaguar put a hole through our white tailed deer fawns enclosure in hope of food for its young, but our fawn hopped the fence. He was found two days later with only a few scratches, and was returned to Rainsong and put into a locked and roofed enclosure.

ELECTROCUTIONS! My main work here at Rainsong:

Last night's worknight ended with an eventful tragedy. Two locals brought in twin baby howler monkeys to Rainsong who were found still attached to their dead electrocuted mothers back. We guessed them to be about 2 or 3 months old. One had minor burn marks on all hands and feet and part of her tail. One of her fingers was bent and is now unusable. The other was howling a lot and both baby monkeys appeared to be in a lot of pain and shock. We quickly threw together an incubated nestling box for them and fed them warmed milk through syringes before putting them into their nestling box. We named the burned monkey Thumbelina and her twin Bella.

The next day, three other volunteers and I were in charge of their care. We washed Thumbelina's burn marks and put anti-bacterial cream on her fingers, toes, and tail. We constantly observed them and made sure they were not licking off the cream. Every two hours, we syringe-fed them. Two other volunteers drove to a nearby town, Montezuma, and bought two stuffed monkeys to act as a comfort for the babies. They cried out a lot and seem to still be in shock, although they are doing a bit better.

Animal electrocutions are serious and can be extremely fatal. In just 5 years, Costa Rica has lost just under 50% of its monkey population due to electrocutions! The government is simply not willing to spend money on materials needed to insulate telephone wires or to build proper monkey bridges. If I knew how to end this, and insulate or build my own, and if I had way more time here I would make this project a major focus of mine. It sucks to know all of this and not be able to do much about it. 
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