Sunday, 4 October 2009

Facing fears

So the last few days have not been easy, not because of the long days and gruelling hours, but because of THE FEAR!!! Shudder! I have slwoly been working my way up to do more and more jobs. DOn´t get me wrong I haven´t been shirking, the jobs I am able to do, cleaning cages and cleaning blankets, I have done with gusto. But `problem lies at feeding time, and believe me, these monkeys are well fed... 3 times a day! I have been fine preparing the food, but carrying the food from the kitchen to the Monkey Park and then distributing the food between the feeding trays. As you walk from the kitchen to the Monkey Park with an open bucket of fruit and veg, you are an absolute target for ambush from squirrel, spider and capuchin monkeys! And they do leap. Today (Sunday) is the first day sicne the attack that I have carried buckets up to the Park. I have for the last few days been known as API girl, i carry the containers of API up to the park and yesterday I braved pouring the API out for the first time. But today has been a big break thrugh. At lunch and dinner I carried a bucket up to the park, and then proceeded to distribute the food. At lunch time I was mugged by a squirrel monkey, it was scary but they are so so so small, that my fears were pretty stupid and silly. I let it sit on my neck for a bit quite calmly. At dinner I was mugged by a spider, but they are dopey and slow so i don´t mind that. I haven´t had any capuchins approach me luckily, they go for eveyone else... they can smell my fear. I lvoe the capuchins, but htey are just a bit too skitzy for my liking. Serving dinner has been a bit tricksy and I have been on red alert on look out for Salim (the bugger who bit me). You need to have eyes everywhere, and I´ll admitt that I have employed Louise and James (fellow Monkey Park volunteers) to watch my back while I serve up food. But, the good news is that I am still alive. I am going to try and serve breakfast tomorrow. In the mornings all the monkeys are a bit skitzo, they are hungry after a whole 14 hours without food and so carrying a bucket to the Park is more of an assult course than it is at lunch and dinner. Hopefully I will survive.

Rhiannon suggested to me that to overcome my fears I should stop being scared, instead I should treat it as excitement. I guess that´s kind right, and I´ve been kind of thinking about it like that with most of the monkeys, but then I see Salim and my excitement disappears.

Both James and Louise agree with me, but since I´ve been working with monkeys I keep thinking I see monkeys out of the corner of my eyes all the time, there is a blue stool next to me in the internet caff right now, but from the corner of my eye it looks like a spider monkey. My brown boots in my room always trick me into thinking they are a capuchin monkey. My room and the internet caff are on the other side of the river, a long way from the jungle, the chances of the monkeys getting here are miniscule. It kind of reassures me that James and Louise get the same though, it means it´s not justa fear thing.

However, there is another indicator of my abject fear... my nightmares. Well, not really nightmares, just disturbed sleep. Here´s a story about last night. I woke up in the night and sat bolt upright. I looked around and I could see a spider monkey curled up at the bottom of my bed next to the foot of my sleeping bag. I started to have heart palpitations. I hadn´t realised but I was alone in the room, Rhiannon had popped to the toilet. As I sat and eyed the monkey at the foot of my bed I looked up to the line where I hang my towel and could have sworn that there was another spider monkley sat on the line. All of a sudden the door flies open and I have a mini heart attack as Rhiannon returns from the bathroom! I look to Rhiannon dazed and ask her if htere is a monkye on my bed, I am half asleep. She shakes her head ¨Sweetie... I don´t know´ and she plonks herself back into bed. I get brave, I find my phone, i couldnt fine my torch, and use it as a light to check the bottom of my bed. Suprisingly it is not a monkey, it is infact a screwed up black top. I shine the torch up to the washing line, it is definitely a towel and not a monkey. Relief, and I fall back to sleep again. I am seriously messed up in the head. I am seriosuly scared isnide. I hope I don´t get more of these weird dreams tonight.

I really, don´t want to be scared anymore, and I really am getting there. I had a playful bite off one of the monkeys today, so I know now that playing bites don´t hurt, I am getting more and more confident because I keep forcing myself to do things. I love the monkeys they are so gorgeous and incredible and someday very very soon I will no longer be living a life filled with fear. Bring. It. On.

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