First Day in Inti Warri Yassi!

Villa Tunari Travel Blog

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First day today, and we both shot out of bed at about 6.30am to be ready for our early start (at least early by our standards)!

Nathan is working with the Albafrons which are Capachin monkeys but a lot lighter. I am working with the usual Capachin monkeys in Quarantine. Nathan is working with one other woman and looks after 9 monkeys. They are being prepped to be released into the wild, but a different area to where the park is. Usually what happens is the monkeys that come through are usually released into the park so this is pretty a exciting project but alos means you don´t get to interact with the monkeys as they need as little hunman contact as possible.


Fallon - Day One

Quarantine is where all monkeys go once being in the clinic for their shots and to make sure they are well enough and will not spread disease to other monkeys or volunteers.

Once in quarantine they usually stay from a few weeks to a few months - it depends on how they get on with other monkeys etc as a lot of these monkeys come from zoos, circus´, family homes and even bars. It´s very very sad to see some of them and the conditions they can be in.

So, my first day in Quarantine was pretty cool. There are 2 sections - one called ´Heaven´ where all the usually timid and nice monkeys are, and ´Hell´ where they put the larger or more aggressive monkeys.

I met the rest of the people who are working there, all for 2 weeks like ourselves. There is one girl from South Africa, one girl from Canada (French) and two Swedish guys. I got to take Raffi who is a really hyper monkey out of his cage and clip his cord to one of the trees.

Some of the monkeys are a bit energetic, while some are slow and so far I am liking them the best for obvious reasons!

We have a total of 42 monkeys in Quarantine at the moment - 3 babies, 24 monkeys in ´Heaven´ and 15 monkeys in ´Hell´.

Two of the monkeys - Juanita and Tina rock while clutching their blankets (AKA ropas) in their cages. It looks so disturbing, I would hate to think what happened to them before they got here. Juanita is really afraid of anyone, and will move away if you go anywhere near her. She escaped by untying her knot and this was her first day back here, before that she had only been here about 2 or 3 days.

I am finding it a little hard because the volunteers in Quarantine don´t communicate, so you don´t really know what you´ll be doing next or who is even doing the set tasks. They barely interact with eachother at all (apart from the two Swedish guys as they are travelling together so know eachother well).

My ankles gave me hell today because of my gumboots rubbing and the humidity. Hope it doesn´t rain too much here as the mozzies come out in droves!!


Nathan - Day One

The day always starts out with my two pancakes with Nuieta (like choclate) and a banana.. mmmmmm scrummy and cheap!!!

Its a 20 - 30 minute hike to the albafrons cage (it depends on the weather and how fast you hike). If its sunny you can take the river, if not its the highlands!!! First thing though is to get all the monkeys food for the day!!! They take Bananas for breaky, a pinapple and papaya for lunch and cucumber, green beans, carrots, patato, another pinapple and papaya for tea (also known to some as dinner).

This day happened to be wet but the river was not up high so we could still cross. To get to the albafrons cage you have to go past quarentine, past the tourist office and all the way to monkey park, there you can take a path to the river which you then follow to a creek. On the creek you have to be carefull as you could find yourself waist deep in mud/sand lol. I only had my tramping boots at this stage so i just worked with wet feet, which is the worst idea as the sand gets into your socks and rubs all you skin off and really bloody hurts like hell!!!!! luckily this only happend twice in my two weeks there :) some peoples feet got really bad!!

When I first meet the Albafrons there was mixed reactions from the group. Most of them were fine with me but Matinsita didnt really like me and Evana (or mum as I called her) seemed to like me a little to much. She even ended up dancing for me lol.

The first thing that needs to be done is to get the monkeys up to the top cages. This can take anywhere between 30 minutes to not at all!!!! However today we got all up apart from Evana and Mathelda. Evana is the oldest female at 8 years and Mathelda is only a young female.. im guessing 2-3 years old. We went into the the bottom cage with them in it and straight away Mathelda jumps on me!!! and she wouldnt get off.. then her and Evana start fighting and heres me right in the middle of a battle for my attention or thats what Fran told me. I had to clean the cage with a monkey on my back and at times avoid the other monkey to stop the fighting lol it was great fun. If we can we also clean the top cages before lunch.

Feeding the albafrons is done through the cage.. however the food is often cut up and handed to them which I dissagreed with as these monkeys are suppose to be able to be released so they shouldnt be being hand feed. After lunch for both monkey and man we make parcels for the monkeys to pull apart and find banana inside, they love it!!!!!! Dinner is also short lived as the hogg the food down !!!!..

The area the albafrons are in is very tranquille. There is a waterfall with a pond which is full of small fish and the monkeys love to eat fish!!! they bite the head right off. Its a great place to relaxe except the millions of bites you get!!! itchy!!! anyway thats about it... chow!!

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Villa Tunari
photo by: RainyDayToast