Rainsong 3: RIP's

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

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Flag of Costa Rica  , Province of Puntarenas,
Monday, May 31, 2010

A few volunteers and I have today and tomorrow off, but Mary asked me to come in in the morning to look over a few emails before she sent them out. I went into Rainsong and found out that a new 2 week old pygmy skunk we had come in a few days ago, had died during the night along with a baby variegated squirrel. It was the first 'RIP news' I had experienced at Rainsong and at first, it was hard to accept the death of these two critters. I had spent many of my hours trying to syringe-feed the skunk and encouraging its bowel movements. It was just such a small and helpless animal and eventully refused the milk we were feeding it.

In other bad news, Thumbelina, the burn-marked howler monkey twin, died this morning as well. The past few days were rough. She had no interest in drinking and her fingers swelled up, even with the medicine and antibiotics she was treated with. She slowly lost movement in her arms and it spread throughout her body, causing paralysis. She rarely made any noise after that, and the look on her face was that of defeat. She had given up on her will to live, and with internal organ damage from the electrocution damage there was nothing more we could do to save her.

Mary and I have set up a facebook group called 'End Wildlife Electrocutions in Costa Rica' for people, mainly Costa Ricans, to post pictures and information about any sightings of electrocutions. The group is also for anybody who wants to prevent these horrid electrocutions and bring back Costa Rica's famous draw toward Ecotourism. It is my biggest challenge and hope while here for my internship, that we can all come together and put a preventative action to this upsetting situation.

I've never really been good at remembering names. It certainly doesn't help when you have new volunteers each week and others leaving. I'm amazed at how Mary can even 'sort-of, kind-of' remember names! It's probably best that she has long term volunteers teaching new volunteers. This way, she doesn't have to constantly say the same things over and over again...like I've had to do the past 3 weeks since I've now been here the longest. Things are constantly changing here. Different volunteers bring a different atmosphere, both working and social. There are always new animals coming in and therefore, the meals prepared are always changing. I've realized just how important it is to be flexible and spontaneous in a career such as this one!

Many of the newer volunteers and interns were working today while I had the day off. News got back to me that we had a baby variegated squirrel come into Rainsong! We also had another howler monkey come in, although he was taken directly to the vet so none of us have seen him yet. I'm excited to go back to work tomorrow and see the squirrel and get updates about how the monkey is doing!

Even with so many recent new volunteers and animals coming in, tomorrow will be a disappointing day since the girls I am living with, other volunteers, are leaving Rainsong and pursuing a one week travel adventure. I'm surprised at how close we have all gotten while enduring the trials and joys of this wildlife sanctuary together and I'll be sad to see them go. However, it won't be long before I leave as well (and I have to admit, I'm eager to be home to spend time with my family and friends!) But for now, I'm glad for the changes Rainsong brings and the friendships I have made here.
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