Thursday, May 6, 2010

Na/ 'an ku se Part II

Since I spent two weeks at Na/ ‘an ku se, and have a ton of pictures, it seemed to warrant more than one blog post.

Here are some of my “awesome” memories (a tribute to Kelvin, an enthusiastic Aussie who saw the awesomeness in EVERYTHING)…

1. Baboon’s offered a ton of laughs, between showing you their butt to be scratched (a good sign showing they are submissive), pre bed acrobatics with the diapered babies jumping on and off everything (including you), chasing an escaped Lola and Clyde to get them back in their enclosure and the grooming I mentioned last time. There was one day I had two baboons sitting on me grooming everything- it was incredibly ticklish when they went for the underarms and tummy and seemed perhaps overly thorough when they got to my eyelashes--- at least I know I am tick and lice free!

2. Baby leopards Umbili and Shakira were cute, but at times you could see a glimmer of their future selves. Once they were fighting over a sweatshirt as we were about to take them for a walk. Everyone tried to help except for me and the two Aussie women who jumped in the back of another pickup truck, as if that was going to protect us--- leopards can jump after all. It was really silly since all we’d need to do is wet them since they hated water and would tip toe around it shaking their big paws- was super cute!

3. Trying to teach Donkey patience and failing, no surprise. Donkey got 4 bottles every few hours, but was very particular about the nipple she would drink out of, so you had to change it very quickly. Donkey and I had countless discussions about patience being a virtue, but not sure she got the message :-(

4. Riding on the back of pickup trucks a la migrant worker- good training for when I return jobless?

5. Lodge night- there is a luxury lodge on the farm where we went for dinner one evening--- it reminded me how much I really do like nice things. I guess you can take the girl out of NYC….

6. Sylvie , the beautiful steambok, nudging me while sitting on a bench reading.

7. Sila, a Namibian staff member, telling a story of “magic panties” (sounded like Spanx) complete with hand motions that had us crying laughing.

8. Samira, the tame cheetah, rubbing up against me and licking me like a house cat. Her tongue was much rougher than I expected and her purr so much louder than you can imagine.

9. On my first carnivore feed, I tossed in a slab of meat to the cheetahs and hit one in the head. Yep, second attempt I clocked another one. Oops! I got better at it.

10. Offroading on the donkey cart, by accident, of course because White and Brown (as I named them), didn’t feel like pulling us anymore. When you wanted them to stop they ran and vice versa. You physically had to stand in front of them to get them to stop--- after 6 hours I got to the point of singing “Stop, In the Name of Love” and scolding White like a child for being a pain in the ass (no pun intended).

11. Finally, the look on the cheetah’s face when we threw them zebra meat--- a total look of disgust that we expected them to eat that (to be fair, it did smell terrible).

Less “awesome”moments…

1. I forgot the rule “never say no to a baboon” and got myself two nice bites courtesy of Troy. No worries, almost everyone gets bit and they don t break the skin, but they do leave a nasty bruise.

2. Eating and drinking in Africa finally caught up to me--- my tummy was NOT happy for a couple days there.

3. Deaths of Whitetale (the cheetah cub), Scooner (dog), the elan that ran into the lion den (oops) and Pumba (warthog) polishing off the last of the baby chicks right in front of me—no respect!

Na/ ‘an ku se was quite a memorable experience!

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