Lots of bear poop + bat caves tonight

Trip Start Jun 11, 2008
Trip End Aug 07, 2008

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Monday, June 30, 2008

Working on bears is really, really hard.  I'm going to tell Emma (volunteer coordinator) that I prefer primates and hopefully I'll be switched over on Primates 1 more often.  I've even had to train new people on Bears today, and it's just not my favorite thing to do.  Lots of heavy lifting, cleaning up tons bear poop in the grass, trying to urge them to go into their inside enclosures so you can do all the cleaning, and most of all, cleaning their pools. 

Everyday a pool gets cleaned.  The job is pretty rotten, especially if it's out in the sun (the high today was 94 degrees!  yikes).  I did one yesterday and one today, which brings my total pool tally up to 4 or 5.  You have to drain the pool, then scrub on your hands and knees to try to get the algae off the sides and the bottom.  Oompoom's pool was today, and he uses his pool as his one and only toilet all week, so it was not fun.

We also had to do a lot of painting for some new bear enclosures, and that also was out in the sun (most of the primates' work is in the shade), and brutal! 

Anyway, enough complaining.  Liz came back from a week on Koh Tao (an island down south where my friend Abby lives as a scuba dive instructor), so it's really nice to have her back.  I'm going to be going to Koh Tao around the 20th of July, in about 3 weeks!  Yay. 

I got to work with Charlotte, my roommate, yesterday, which was fun as it was our first time working together.  We stepped out of our room at 6:20am to get started and she tried to put her feet into her 'trainers' (sneakers) and nearly squashed a toad that was cowering on the inside.  Luckily, he escaped unscathed. 

Also, when we were trying to feed the 9 bears (by throwing all the fruit over the tall fence), a rambutan slipped out of my hand, bounced off he wall, and hit her in the head, so we laughed a lot about that.  (Rambutans are smallish fruits in a prickly red shell).  We also got to discuss ways to get rid of the 15 daddy long leg spiders that have now taken up residence in our bathroom--mainly we hose them down the drain with our sprayer, if they happen to be foolish enough to be crawling around on the floor.  I'm excited to travel in more luxurious accomodations for Month Two of my journey!  :)

Something fun- last night we got to do Trivia Night.  It was trivia on pictures of the animals (what their names were, what species they were, and if they're native to Thailand), round 2 was general Wildlife Friends Foundation of Thailand trivia, round 3 was specific to the Wildlife volunteering (what I do), round 4 was specific to the Elephant volunteering (what I do not do), and round 5 was general trivia (what year did the Berlin wall come down, what was Madonna's debut album, how many countries does the Mekong River flow through...).  Our team lost, but we still got to eat the Thai donuts that the other team was awarded as a prize.

And lastly, something to look forward to- a trip to bat caves tonight at dusk to see all the bats flying out of their caves to go hunt around at night! 

I took some videos of some of the gibbons, so I'm going to try to post them, just to see if it works. 
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trvlbg on

It's a Mad Mad Mad World!
To Katie, the intrepid traveler. I am finally catching up on your blog! What adventures, experiences... Mary Ann

A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policies and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. John Steinbeck (1902-1968)

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