Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Bug Going Around

The past two days have been hard. I think I mentioned that there was a stomach bug going around with both the volunteers and the animals. It's unusual that people and animals transfer a disease, but it's been happening. Yesterday morning my goddaughter Carolyn got it. I guess it was inevitable since she's living in such close quarters with so many others, many of whom are sick, but it broke my heart. I took her tea and bread and ginger ale, but she has to get through it herself. And it's so hard to be away from home when you're sick. I ache for her.

Today she's doing a bit better--no more throwing up. (I"m sure she loves the fact that her physical symptoms are part of my blog, but that's what being a star is all about--no more privacy.) Anyway, she's keeping water down, but she wants to stay one more day in bed. I worry about her constantly and run down to the volunteer village as often as I can. I don't know how you parents do it. Worry is exhausting.

The animals, too, have suffered. One of the year-old cheetahs name Inbar came down with diarrhea yesterday and was rush to the vet, along with a baby baboon named Iggy. The vet said it's the same thing that has killed two other animals. The two are back today with medicine. The cheetah's enclosure--which he shares with his four siblings--had to be burned today. The vet said it was the only way to get rid of whatever it was. They're all back in there now with medicine squirted into their mouths twice a day.

Marieta is concerned enough that she's quarantined the cheetahs from the volunteers. They can no longer have physical contact or feed them until this thing calms down. That means that I have a real job now. Another woman who comes here a lot and is visiting now name Kaatje and I are in charge of cheetahs. We feed all of the cheetahs that are on the inside of the farm--the five siblings, Jeannie, Mauritz, Pride and her cubs, and of course Koema. (Atheno is being fed by the outside tourguide.) We are the only two that are allowed contact with the baby Koema. We DO NOT want him to get sick. So we all wash our hands constantly and make sure no one can come near him.

I appreciate the urgency of the situation but I feel sorry for the volunteers. Touching and interacting with cheetahs is the high point of being a volunteer, and at least for now, that's off the table. Personally, I feel honored that Marieta trusts me with her babies. Today was pretty exhausting, though. But I feel needed, and that's good.

So in order to leave you on a positive note, here's the star of my blog, Koema. (Well, Carolyn would have been the star, but I doubt you want to see a picture of her, pale faced, in bed.) I have pretty close to a million pictures and videos of him at this point. He begs to be committed to film.

1 comment:

  1. Being sick away from home is no fun at all. Trust me, I know! Hoping that the bug leaves Harnas for good very soon. Oh, and Koema is so stinking cute. Can you smuggle him home???