Written by Tyler Mascarello, thank you!
We spent a solid ten days building a park, so it was only fair that we were granted time to work in a park.
For some our trip to Machia was to be the highlight of our journey. Finally we were going to work with animals. For the entirety of our time at Jacj Cuisi we fantasized about who would be working with what. Predictions were constantly being made; like Ross will probably be working with monkeys because he’s basically the gap between our two species already, or perhaps Tyler will be with whatever the scariest/most dangerous animal is due to his extreme fearlessness.
After those ten days of defecting in a hole in the ground and eating meat substitute with the nutritional value of cardboard, we were greeted with a bus home. You can imagine our anticipation to board a bus for 16 hours to finally indulge in La Paz for a day after all of our blood sweat and sweat. We boarded said bus without a very important element in mind: This was Bolivia, and plans rarely go how we desire. In short a ¨landslide¨ (which was actually just a broken down truck) extended our time in the all too comfortable and climate controlled bus to a grand total of 30 hours (no that’s not a typo (and it was actually 28 hours but come on 30 sounds better right?)).
Machia was nigh and we were very close to discovering our jobs for the next two weeks. Unfortunately, one more bus journey lay between our destination…but it went according to plan and we made it on time (did you think it was going to get stuck too? (I wonder if that ellipsis translated the way I wanted it to…)). So we all sat down for the first meeting and our jobs were handed out. I feel list form would be the most appropriate method of displaying this information. So we were for the most part either with monkeys or cats with a couple of exceptions.
Satisfaction was achieved; we were all somewhere we were ecstatic or at least mildly satisfied to be. Naturally monkey jobs were not all the same, for example someone like Lisbeth might be sitting around all day letting monkeys scratch her head while someone like Alice who worked in the quarantine spent a lot more time doing substantial work, (I´m kidding we all worked, but seriously I never saw her standing up). Lisbeth is beside me currently so it´s ok that I make fun of her, just like it was ok that I made fun of Ross earlier in the blog post because he insulted my ability to write.
All justifications aside, we were all pleased with where we were, and we all have some stories about all the animal friends that will forever live in our heart of deepest, truest hearts. Some of us have even got some potential scars, like Rory who directly challenged the bear to a duel (foolishly), or Bash who coaxed an insect to lay its eggs inside of his foot. Seeing as the three of us in front of the computer currently all worked with monkeys, we feel most obliged to speak of our animal friends firsthand.
A Monologue of Working with Monkeys by Alice Routh:
¨when you first realize you’re actually working with monkeys you don’t know how to feel. Once you get there and have monkeys urinating warm damp liquid down your spine you think ¨gross¨. But after a week you think oh here’s Eric the monkey saying hello¨. It’s a connection beyond verbalization, which transcends the fabrics of comprehensible relations between any beings, we became monkeys. I can’t speak for all, but the essence of the experience was in pure love for these animals.¨
Well said Alice.
But back to group talk. Nobody cried when we left, but we did have to say goodbye to a group favourite, Quest leader prodigy Peter Coates. A true man of wit and pizzazz, Pete: We shall miss you dearly.
Oh yeah and I´m supposed to say something about cat people like oh yeah it was waaay cooler than monkeys an we didn´t have to clean up faeces and our days ended super early,¨ but I´ll let them speak for themselves, here’s a quote from your hometown favourite Bash…
¨Yeah I worked with cats, it was pretty cool.¨
Bash – A man of many words.
In conclusion, we enjoyed our time with each of our animals; we had some good food served by a strange toothless woman I´m obligated to mention due to the general good feelings toward said cook. We left our respective marks, and it has been predicted that some of us might even go back someday for a furry little reunion.
Tyler (supervised by Lisbeth and Alice (who also love you))