Last Day

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

First off, Happy Birthday to [ 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.
amalthya: (Jarry)
Sunday 7:03 am

It's a fine day, Sunday. And that's not because there's no post on Sunday, but it's because there're no drums on Sunday.

In a way I'm lucky that it's a church next door and not a mosque -- mosques begin their morning services at 4:30 am instead of 5:30 am.

Last night, as per usual, we had a power outtage and even though it was 8 pm and I usually retreat into my room, I went out onto the "porch" and just sat in the absolute, total darkness. The low rumble of the generator for the huge antenna tower next door hummed into the night, but other than that, it was just complete dark.

I'd brought my little Energizer lantern but decided to turn it off. It was also attracting bugs.

And, on the cold cement of the porch, I just stretch and breathed in the cold mountain air. I don't usually notice all of the sounds of the night, but I was hyper-aware since I could barely see 2 feet in front of me. If I squinted, I could make out the silhouettes of the trees, dark against the sky. The sky seemed enormous, too.

I couldn't see the road, or the rocks, and the wall of the compound blocked most of the headlights from the passing cars, and I sort of felt like I was in the middle of the wilderness..

... with a generator, of course. I felt so free, and the cold air made my skin all tingly, and really, it was sort of incredible.

When the power came back on as I sat outside, it was almost disappointing. I got out of my funny Pilates posture and greeted Faustin and Mwacca, the guard. Their radio came back on, and suddenly the night air was cluttered with static and singing.

People cheered in a nearby bar and the night was alive with city noise again.

And I went back inside, into my room and to my computer.
amalthya: (goblin)
Thursday 10:46 am

It sort of amazing to think but this morning, Okeysha took some wire trash she found on the ground and started termite-fishing in this hole in the side of the Chateau Chimpanzee.

What's amazing about it is that chimpanzees have culture that's totally specific to each individual group, and it's taught from mother to daughter and what-not. I wondered as I watched her who had taught Okeysha, if anyone at all. It was just awesome to see those things that seem so flat in a book acting themselves out in real life.

I spent the majority of yesterday in my room sulking and feeling upset. I watched DVDs and did needlepoint, convincing myself that having those good needlepointing brainwaves would make me feel better. And they did.

Today feels much better, along with hope that all isn't lost and that perhaps I'll find the hard drive yet. I went out this morning and took tons more photos and video too... I guess I realized how fleeting this experience is and how much capturing it indelibly means to me.

I'm still using iPhoto, warily. I'm not ever going to trust it again, and well, "magically" I suddenly have 5 GB more free on my harddrive. Fah.

I've now got photos of my wedding dress fabric, which is good. I'll put those up, and I think I'll head to the office on Sunday instead of Monday since I think people will arrive Monday night-ish. Or probably Tuesday morning.

Either way, I'm feeling much improved. Thanks for asking.


amalthya: (Default)

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