Up early this morning and hear the sounds of roosters crowing. Make myself some toast and do some quick washing before 7am. One of the girls is heading back to Ndola today and the others are heading into Chingola for the day. I’m not keen to spend another day in town and want to get started with the Chimps so I stay behind. Sylvia will be grabbing me and taking me out the the orphanage. Not quite sure if it’s just for the morning or the whole day and need to grab a packed lunch if it is the whole day.
I’m told she wont be long after the others leave just after 7 so I wait. It’s really chilly here and I’m a bit cold even with my flanno on. Sylvia arrives at 10 and sounds like she’s had a busy morning. She drops me off at one of the enclosures and leaves me Patrick. They’ve already done fence checks and food prep this morning so he introduces me to all the chimps while we wait for 11:30 when they take them into the enclosures to feed them.
While waiting I meet Chrissie who is very cute and likes to hang out on the outside of the cage. I give her a drink and as her little hand grabs my wrist to steady the bottle I’m amazed how strong her grip is.
As I get closer looks at the chimps it blows my breath away how human like they really are. I’ve read books, seen photos but until you see them for real it’s just not the same. Their hands and eyes could belong to a person. I watch them drinking from a trough and smile as they use empty plastic bottles..fill them up with water and drink from them.
We get them into the enclosure and dish out the food. Time for my lunch so I sit up on the roof to warm up. Not long before we’re due to let them out a bunch of guys turn up, some are from Australia to check out the chimps. Have to keep explaining this is really my first day so I don’t know a lot
1:30 we let them out and some of them really don’t want to move. Have to keep a couple of the big males inside tonight as their is a food vehicle coming tomorrow and they are known for throwing rocks at cars. After a lot of juggling of cages we clean out a bunch of them and that’s it for the day. Time to sit and chat and look at my photos.
We walk back 5k’s to the camp and spot a chameleon along the way. When I arrive the place is deserted so I do some reading and wait until everyone arrives. After the other volunteers get back and shower we help ourselves to dinner and while we’re all hanging in the kitchen chatting a car pulls up and a bit later a few heads pop in the door. It’s the clients from earlier in the day. 2 Aussies and a South African who decided to stay the night and had gone into town for supplies. They’ve brought a huge amount of food and drink and plan on a SA bbq. We sit around and chat and I think soon between us Aussies manage up upset all the others who aren’t used to the black Aussie humour and our slang. I’m keen on a steak and boy it is good. First good steak I’ve had since leaving Australia! Had a good chat till quite late, nice bunch of blokes.