A Goodbye

Mar. 22nd, 2006 05:29 pm
amalthya: (Jarry)
Monday 9:14 am

Well, he might have bitten me hard enough earlier this morning to draw blood, causing me to whimper and look at him while he tried to wipe it away, but, on my very last day, before I left, Etaito came up onto my lap, warm in the stunning sunshine, and let me groom him contentedly while he ate a guava.

I got to hug all my kids today, and I'm feeling good about going. Yea, it's hard, but there's lots more ahead.
amalthya: (bad day)
Monday 6:23 am

It would figure that my last night would involve the chimps not sleeping through the night. It sounded like someone had had a bad dream, and made a hoot-call, but then there was silence.

10 minutes later, everyone was screaming, so I ran in in my pajamas and promptly ran through diarrhea in my bare feet. While subtly trying to cat-in-a-litter-box wipe my feet on the floor, all three kids jumped on me, clutching me tightly, causing my far-too-big pajamas to go cascading to the floor.

I shuffled to the window to tell Mwacca to get Faustin, using the window's torso-only viewing to hide my exposed derriere.

I transferred two chimps to my back and leaned forward to regain my PJ bottoms.

After I was again clothed, I went to put the kids back into bed, only to rest my hand in another big clump of diarrhea. The bed was full of pee and poo...

Thankfully, Faustin changed the sheets while two chimpanzees curled on my lap, pretending they weren't going to go back to sleep.

After new sheets and new blanket, as well as a thorough floor-mopping, we turned the lights back off and plopped the kids back on the mattress. They were asleep within minutes, and I went back to my room to watch movies.
amalthya: (geek)
Sunday 6:25 pm

Okay, there are totally bed bugs in the couch I've been sleeping on. My entire midsection is covered in HORRIBLY ITCHY LITTLE BITES. GAHH!

As a total aside, falling asleep with chimpanzees continues to be blissful. Etaito crashed before the other chimps, falling asleep on the couches in the other house.

We stretched out their Transformers sheet over the mattress, collapsing with the rapidly snoozified chimpanzees. Kanabiro and Okeysha argue over who gets groomed. I'll be grooming Okeysha, stroking her face to help her get to sleep and Kanabiro will pull my hand towards her belly, wanting to be rubbed.

Okeysha will retaliate, reaching in the dark for the feel of my hairless hand (several times she grabs Kanabiro instead of me and makes this annoyed, disgusted face) and pulls it towards her face. It goes on and on, until I readjust, leaning one arm under Kanabiro's head to reach Okeysha and my free hand to rub Kanabiro's belly.

As Okeysha falls asleep I can stop rubbing her face, and I curl around Kanabiro, feeling her warm breath on my chin and her little whiskers twitching against my cheek. I hear her breathing become regular, and I slowly move my arm from under her head.

She wakes briefly, and I stroke the hairs at the side of her face and above her eye ridges [superorbital torii for the dorks] and I see her eyelids becoming heavy again and she falls back to sleep.

I move, quietly, slowly, hopeful that the mattress won't squeak or creak. None of the three babies stir as the sliver of light from my bedroom becomes a halogen triangle, illuminating their tiny peaceful faces. I slip into my room and close the door behind me, leaving them to dreams.

Last Day

Mar. 22nd, 2006 05:23 pm
amalthya: (silly crazy)
Sunday 9:40 am


First off, Happy Birthday to [livejournal.com profile] bannoubunkacoby!!

Liz had wanted to go over into Gisenyi today, but I decided after last night that I really wanted to spend my last day with the chimps, and nowhere else. I spent from 6:30 am on with them this morning, and then the last 30 minutes packing all my worldly goods.

Last night was sort of incredible, and I've been filled with this additional reverence for the relationships I've formed here. I put the chimps to bed -- Okeysha and Kanabiro -- and Kanabiro uncharacteristically fell asleep right away, nestled into my arm. Okeysha, intent on still being important, curled into my back. So I was a Sleeping Chimpanzee Sandwich.

I felt so happy, so intoxicated with the smell of chimpanzee (which thankfully masked the smell of urine on the mattress) that I had Liz go get my camera so that I could capture the moment forever. I worry how "professional" my copious picture taking is, and what she'd think of it, but at that moment, I didn't care and knew I'd regret it if I didn't get the shot.

This morning was really nice -- Etaito is still determined to act as bad as possible while Liz is here, tormenting and biting her. She and I got our belly beads at the same time, and she'd managed to keep her strands all through Cameroon. Mine have been the only jewelry I've worn this entire time here, and, although my pants falling down exposes them and the chimps have grabbed them from time to time, I'd managed to keep my little memento of my first week in Uganda.

Anyway, Etaito almost got them today, and when I scolded him, he bit me hard. Ha! Goodbye, sucker! [says he]

What's fun though is to see how much they've all learned and changed since I arrived. I always play this game with him where I blow air into his mouth right after I've brushed my teeth. He likes the smell, but today, I blew on him, and he blew back. He'd never done that before! I was so thrilled and proud that I squished him in a big hug.

Liz has actually been nice to have around, and, eating at Lebanese together two nights in a row, Primus has definitely lubricated our friendship. I'm still wary, but I'm really amazed and pleased with how well it's all gone. I mean, we're sharing a teensy tiny room, and I'm sleeping on the couch, and things could be just awful. But they're not, and it makes me happy.

I cracked up today when Etaito dangled from one of the ropes we have up and hung there, peeing onto the ground 2 feet below. Very smart!!

I will spend the rest of the day playing now that I'm packed, too. And taking MORE photos, of course. I feel really at peace.

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amalthya

November 2009

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