It's 8:15 am and we just got through cleaning out the stables (scooping horse poop into a wheelbarrow and dumping it into a huge pile basically). I got a good night's sleep (probably 9 or 10 hours!!) while alot of other folks stayed up and partied. Breakfast is in 15 minutes, then horse grooming until lunchtime. After lunch, it's horseback riding. Once everyone has established whether or not they can ride and are separated into groups, we'll be able to start doing stuff like boundary patrol, snare sweeping, etc. The reserve is fenced in, but poachers will cut the fence and try to get in to kill the wildlife. So, regular patrols are necessary to repair any holes in the fence.
Yesterday was an exciting day. We were all geared up to go on our last lion walk of the day when suddenly word came in that there was a wildlife outside the park and our help was needed to put it out. Everyone grabbed their workgloves, huge 20 gallon containers of water, bandanas, etc. We piled into 2 trucks and were off. Racing through the park and on the outskirts of the park in the truck was hilarious. We were all bouncing around while water was getting flung out of the containers and dust was flying everywhere. When we finally arrived at the fire site, it had already been put out. Oh well, I guess it was a good drill anyway. :)
Early last night I discovered monkeys in the trees outside my tent! Very very skittish but I finally was able to get them to watch me and I'd make a certain whistle and then toss them a piece of banana. They'd jump down from the trees, grab the piece of fruit, and scurry back up the tree. Anyway I'd make the whistle, all these little faces would pop out - expecting fruit. It was really cute and I got a little video of them in the trees. Since the internet is so slow, it's impossible to post videos. It takes about 10 minutes to upload a single photo. I'm on the computer right now that doesn't have a working USB port which means I can't upload any photos right now. But I'll jump back on later and try to upload a couple.
I have SO many great photos and videos! My favorite so far is the video my friend Clare took of me with the elephants. My friend Vinnie is waiting for the computer so I need to jump off and let him post.
Will try to post again later today with some photos.