This is our latest update from the depths of the jungle. Many thanks to Jacob Estrada (AKA Jake’n´Bake)
After an exciting morning of Bolvian transport beginning at midnight the previous night, we arrived at Ambue Ari. Unlike Jacj Cuisi, Ambue is tucked away in the jungle surrounded by tall trees and the sound of monkeys and birds calling to each other. Camp itself is crawling with people and critters, from residents of Germany and Argentina, to wild Tejons, a parrot named Gordo, and a house cat that keeps the camp relatively pest free. We entered camp, found our dorms we would be staying in for the next few weeks, claimed our bunks, and our adventure here began. We had a fun first night meeting all of the volunteers who already lived at camp, I personally was lucky enough to lose all rock paper scissors games and got to wash 27 dishes, and we called it an early night in anticipation for the next day.
The following day we woke up around seven oclock (luckly we did not have to start morning tasks until the following day) and headed to the comedor to begin our briefing on CIWY. Then the big news came: what animals we got to work with. We all got animals that have still to this day made us happy and excited to work every day. On that first morning we read in-depth binders full of information about our animals, and that very day we all set out to work.
So many things have happened with us and each of our individual animals while we have been here so I will just name a few. Aaron, who is working with a Puma named Wayra, has gotten her to swim for the first time in a year. Vicky has become queen of the monkeys, while Seb has been working with Houdini monkeys in quarantine. Jen is working hard everyday with the blind Jaguar named Juancho, and Allison has been working to enrich the lives of two sister pumas named Wara and Yasi after they lost their sister Inti. And I have been lucky enough to work with young energetic geoffory cat twins Beowulf and Boudica.
During the week there are also plenty of fun activities, including Taco Tuesday in the local town, night outs in the parks’ cafe on Fridays, and Saturday afternoons at the lagoon in town. On our second Friday there was a special “masquerade ball” where we all dressed up as things such as an army man, an avatar, a jaguar, and Mennonites. The lagoon is also a nice break on Saturdays. Swimming, laying in the sun, chips and chicken wings, veggie barbecue, and lots of great music.
The past few weeks all of the volunteers here at Ambue have also been helping with construction on a huge runner, to allow a jaguar to go and swim in the near by river, for the second biggest Jaguar in the park, Ru, who is a massive cat who is amazing to see and be around.
Overall our experience has been nothing but great. Friendly volunteers, amazing cats and monkeys, and extremely out of this world experiences. We are all going to miss all of Ambue and are all looking forward to coming back in the future!