Times they be a changin’
So here we are, the dawn of a new era. A new year, 2017, a new American president (shudder), and lots of changes here on the ground. I keep promising I’ll get better at this but time keeps escaping me and I’m not going to make any more promises. Since I last wrote, Le arrived, we spent an incredible 3 weeks together, and enjoyed new years on the beach. The managers who we’re hired a few months back left left on 48 hours notice for medical reasons just days after his arrival and our proposed vacation. So, by default I am now filling the vacuum of manager and vet (including administration and eco-lodges, fundraising and more). Our vacation has been stressful as I try to find time to do everything on my many to do lists! Luckily and thanks to our team we were still able to get away to the beach a couple times!
It’s a strange thing to meet a familiar face in this environment. On one hand it feels like everything is right in the world and this is home. On another hand it feels like this can’t be real, that someone from home could actually find you in this distant land far removed from western society. Our days were spent busy working, with evenings out on the town (often in search of what seemed to be the all of a sudden elusive pizza – “pizza finished” “oven broken” they say – the cravings continue) or staying in and enjoying a nice meal by candlelight. If only home could have a garden like this forest, we’d be set for life!
I must say the best time was relaxing on the beach over new years weekend, the same place I have returned to today for some rest and rejuvenation! Waking up to the sound of the waves and the early morning sunrise like… do I really work here??? We kept being told that there was a huge carnival/outing/party and that all beaches would be so packed you can’t find place to sit. While looking forward to relaxing, we were still excited and curious about this party. The 31st arrived and we still had the beach mostly to ourselves. Some people started to filter in and turns out Bala and fam were also on the same beach. All excited about lighting fireworks at midnight, the music started going but the beach still seemed empty. By 11:30 it had completely cleared out and we we’re one of 10 people around. Well, turns out everybody goes to church at midnight!!!! Told the party was still imminent after church we waited and waited to no avail and fell asleep. The following day as we we’re leaving, well, thousands of people were arriving and the real celebrations beginning. I think we’re just not meant for new years parties. Every time we try something seems to thwart our plans. Well, at least we lit some fireworks!!!!
Things have started to get back to some semblance of a routine here. We are preparing food the peak of dry season when water can run dry and also when our chimps seem to succumb to the mystery disease I am trying so hard to prevent and identify. A taste of home rejuvenates the spirit but also makes the heart grow fonder and more difficult to be away again.
Until next time! Now to enjoy this sunset on the wide open beach!
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