I have a new item for my wish list for life—a cheetah! Yesterday, one of the morning jobs I was assigned to was the incredibly difficult job of Indie Duty. Indie is a ten-month-old cheetah cub who absolutely loves to play… so essentially my job was to keep Indie entertained and to play with her so she got her daily exercise… daunting task huh! She’s basically adorable—because she is still a cub, she has lots and lots of energy so we enjoyed playing fetch as she chased the balls all around her enclosure. She also really loves to climb on whatever—fences, her “dog-like” cat house, and me… the clothes got a bit muddy as her humungous paws were covered in mud and I ended up smelling just like her in the end… but it was definitely so worth it! Ali, one of the owners here at African Dawn and the “mommy” of Indie, came over for a bit during my “duty” and she told me a lot about cheetahs. It is believed that cheetahs were used by Egyptian Pharaohs like hunting dogs as they are very trainable. Cheetahs are also extremely endangered as only one-in-twenty live past the age of six months. This is because cheetahs are built for speed and they rely-on their speed rather than strength to hunt for food. However when another animal challenges them for their food, they abandon their food as there is little they can do to fight back. Similarly, when in danger, cheetahs will abandon their young in order to escape a threatening situation… interesting. Being assigned to Indie duty has definitely been the highlight of my time here at African Dawn thus far!
It seems as if I am allergic to something here as well… my hands have rashes all over them—they are red, swollen, and itch like no other. Unfortunately, I’ve kind of just had to deal with it as I am pretty isolated out here on the farm and there isn’t really a pharmacy or clinic down the street… besides there probably isn’t much they’d be able to do for me anyways. Fortunately I’ve never had anything like this at home so I’m diagnosing myself in that I’m allergic to something native over here… a fair enough conclusion I’d say. So other than constantly itching my hands, life is still absolutely great. I am exhausted with the farm-work and such but there are also many benefits and satisfactions that come with the long, hard work. I especially enjoy spending all of the time with the animals whether it be simply sitting with the squirrel monkeys and serving as their human jungle gym as they climb all over you, cuddling (their favorite!) with the servals, or playing with the kudu (while trying to avoid the crazy ostrich that lives with them). There are literally hundreds and hundreds of birds here as well and although I’m not really a bird fan (alright, let’s be honest… after this experience and taking care of them, I’m even less of a bird fan… and if for some reason in the future I ever decide or think it would be a great idea to have a bird… please prevent it from happening!) I do enjoy the parrots and macaws on occasion. Besides Scraggles, the evil macaw that literally will hunt you down to bite you, the rest are decent… yes, their talking can get quite annoying but the occasional “Fuc* off” from a parrot is pretty darn funny (thanks to whatever volunteer taught them that one!).
I can’t believe that tomorrow is my last day of work here at African Dawn as I finally know all of the complicated feeding routes and all of the work is getting routine—the time has just gone so fast! However, I am looking forward to sleeping in a semi-warm environment once again. This morning we woke up to frost on the grass and considering there are holes in the floor of our cabin, you can only imagine how cold the nights are… so that will be just about the only positive thing about leaving! Seriously though… it is far too cold here… I mean frost… this is Africa for goodness sakes! Oh, and we have this job that is referred to as “chicken dishes” which is essentially cleaning out all of the dirty food bowls and we are assigned about every-other-day to do this. Well, lucky me… it was my morning to do the chicken dishes… so at 9 o’clock in the morning, I got to go outside in the freezing cold and clean buckets upon buckets and plates upon plates of dirty, gross used food plates… with freezing cold water… not going to lie, it was a bit miserable… well for the first part of it anyways because once my hands were so numb that I couldn’t feel anything anymore, the job got just a little bit better…. Brr!!!!!!!!!!!
I hope you are all enjoying the nice, warm summer weather at home………