Tuesday, 31 July 2012

week 2 of pumas

So a wee bit more detail on what I'm doing day to day. 

First of all if you wanna find out about the place itself here is the website:


So I'm working with two cats, Luna in the morning and Leeshu in the afternoons. Luna is a 2 year old bi-polar nut bar that rugby tacles any gringo at every opertunity. She's cool, but her mood swings kind of anoy me. Leeshu is a 6 year old dude who knows esactly what he wants and doesn't beat round the bush (no pun intended!). He's massive, about 15kgs more than Luna and 58kgs total. That may not seem like much, but trust me, it's pure muscle! if you give them 2 metres running space they're pretty much gaurenteed to take you to the ground. So its kind of the same routine for all the cats, you walk over to their cage (about 20 minutes walk from camp) and see them at the fence. We spend about half ah hour stroking and petting them through the fence and they pur really loudly! Then when they're good and ready they let you know they want out and you walk into the cage to stap on the rope to their collar. Then you walk them out and keep a keen eye on them while they walk around their designated trails. Depending on their mood, which varys on loads of things, they will either walk, stalk, run, sleep, sulk, complain or jump you. When it rains, leeshu can't be arsed to walk so he just chills in his cage. However Luna loves the rain and she goes ape shit at the gringos walking her and jumps them even more than usual! 

When they jump, they go soft as they're only playing. They keep their claws in and only bite softly. That being said, they often forget that we're not toys so we have to try and stop them from jumping as much as possible as it encourages bad behavour. Also, sometimes they accidently hurt the gringos, so for example my first day walking leeshu he jumped me. Now Lesshu doesn't jump people that often so he's not used to doing it in a way that doesn't hurt the gringos. So when he jumped me his non retractble claw (the forth claw) accidently got stuck into my hand and natural instinct took over so he got frustrated and started scratching at my arm. I only got minor cuts and hopefully I'll end up with some cool scars to show :-)

We get every tuesday off so we usually head to town on a monday night (by hitch) and get drunk on the cheap. We drink this stuff called potable (translates to drinkable) which is 96% alcohol, usually mixed with coke (I should say at this point that we mix it with cola - I am in bolivia after all!). And on that subject it's legal over here to chew on coca leaves so all the bolivians (and a couple of people at the camp) are always stuffing wads of leaves into their mouth so everyone has green teeth! At the camp we currently have 5 gringos, me, Dave (my portarican cat partner) molly, gareth and Nat. there was an isreally guy but he had to leave as he was really ill and a handfull of europeans who left after their schedueled time. There's also a familly who lives here and runs the camp, Carabea, dimetreo and their two daughters. Carabea is a lovely woman who is a devote christian and has a great heart. Dimetreo is about 20 years younger, loves getting drunk and whenever he gets pissed off with his daughters he shouts "PUTA!!!" (Spanish equivelant of cunt) at top volume. It's hillarius to hear from the other side of the camp! 

Errrr, not too sure what to write about other than that. The camp, although basic and over run with mosquitos, is amazing fun and has a great crowd of people staying there. Working with the pumas is cool, but if I'mbeing really honest with myself I'm not really here 'to make a difference' I'm here because I'm sick the travel part of travelling and to save money. Don't get me wrong, I support the cause and respect the animals but there are some proper die hard volunteers here who are lifers and really passionate about the cause. Fair balls to them. 

Patable has kicked in and I'm pissed. Off to get some meat (it's veg only at camp) at this cracking resteraunt. 4 pounds for a delicious suculant steak with all the trimmings. Can't be bad!


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