20th Day - Primates 2, Enrichments and swimming at the river

Cha-am Travel Blog

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Me, Elise, Sarah and Lindsay
I had a good day today; Emma had kindly put me on P2 again with Emilie which gives me loads of free time. Since they have finally bought new paintbrushes I set about wood-staining about 12 enrichment beams, a task which I have been clamouring to do since I got here. Then after lunch I was struck by inspiration and made 16 seed-shakers to enrich the WSPA block. I fished out lots of bottles from the recycling and the enrichment box, pushed 5 holes in each and put a couple of handfuls of sunflower seeds in each and gave them to the gibbons and macaques. The primates were thrilled with them; they were so successful in fact that a few of the gibbons managed to pull the bottles through the wire, and then went and sat in their favourite place turning and turning the bottle and nibbling the seeds that fell out. I was dead chuffed - I'm usually devoid of smart ideas when it comes to enrichment and usually end up copping out with frozen bananas or watermelon!

After work we had time to say goodbye to Lyndsay at 5pm who finally leaves after 2 months at the centre. It was a sad moment, but made easier by the promise of a swim in the river afterwards with the Thai vet and his assistant. I hadn't been before, though it is popular with everyone here and many locals. The current was really fast and the river was high; there are two ropes that span the river to stop people floating away, and ropes attached to logs in the river to hang onto. The girls jumped in (except Lieke, who I pushed in) and I met them at the logs 20 metres downstream. I had difficulty getting up on the log; the current was so fast I couldn't get momentum up and out of the water, my legs were being pulled under, but I eventually managed.

We got back in time for dinner and a shower, and then were treated to 'an audience with Edwin' unexpectedly. As we sat around with beers and wine, he came to join us with a bottle of Johnnie Walker and soon all the volunteers were sitting around the big wooden table together listening to stories about past volunteers (we are so tame in comparison!)

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Me, Elise, Sarah and Lindsay
Me, Elise, Sarah and Lindsay
Cha-am
photo by: thelailama