Tuesday, December 7, 2010
here at Harnas
I'm really having trouble with my email here at Harnas--so if you read this and normally email me at my NC State account, please send things to my gmail account instead. It's Barbara.Bennett88@gmail.com
The first two days here have been wonderful, of course. I feel so at peace already. Yesterday morning I went on a walk with Goeters, the 23 year old cheetah who has been a death's door several times lately but has survived.
We started by driving him in the back of a truck to a place called the Tree House, and then we walked for about an hour on a dirt track--then turned around and went back. He walked very slowly but seemed to be enjoying himself out in all the scents and sounds of the bush. But it was hot, so when we got back to the tree house we thought he'd had enough and called for a truck to take us home. He didn't want to get back in the truck--even growled a bit when Marnus lifted him in--and I saw him later that afternoon and he was sleeping sleeping sleeping. It's so good for the old boy, though. It keeps his muscles in good shape and makes him more interested in the world.
I spent the rest of the day going around to my favorite animals, but still didn't get to them all. Marieta has two new baby baboons--Elvis and Loede, and in the afternoon she took those two--along with the 6 others who are a bit older (including Coco and Jessie) and they all played on the lawn. A few even went swimming in a pond (baboons love the water).
In the evening, Cornelia and Willi came to my wonderful bungalow (called Caso) and we sat on the front porch and drank some wine while we listened to the sounds of Harnas. Caso is verrrry close to the lions' enclosures (which I requested) and starting about sunset, they take turns roaring their territory to each other. At times during the night they would get started, wake me up, and it would sound like they were right outside my door. FANTASTIC. Even Pickles (my Jack Russell terrier while here at Harnas--I steal her from Marieta_ would sit up in bed and look around like "Where ARE those lions?" It was magical. I couldn't ask for a better way to spend each night than listening to the power of the lions.
Speaking of Pickles, she was so excited to see me when I arrived that she jumped up and up and up almost to my chin level. She's hardly left my side since.
This morning I went on the food tour. I'll tell you more about it, but I'm afraid how long this connection will or will not last, so I'll leave it for another day.
So much to tell. I'll write again tomorrow if the internet holds.