Monday 6th April.
Into my last week now.. I'm glad I chose to be here for four weeks, it is the ideal length of time, I think.
Had a nice meal at a restaurant in the village for Sabine's last night.. the spiciest I have managed to obtain scince being in Thailand, some others couldn't handle it but I wanted it hotter! Food at the centre is frustratingly mild, so I add chili flakes to everything!
In those four weeks, I have only left the immediate area once, strange after my first month traveling a lot. Was kind of getting itchy feet being here all the time, so Thursday last week, on my day off, I went to Cha-Am for the day with Ronja and Camilla, Dutch and Danish girls. We went for the beach, having been warned that there was not much else to do there, and they weren't far wrong! Lots of stalls selling touristy plasticky, overpriced junk, about four different stalls seemingly repeated over and over again! We spent most of the day sitting in the sun on the beach. Not many westerners there, though, nearly everyone in the sea was Thai (and therefore wearing T-shirts and shorts) and I think we were the only people on the entire beach choosing to sit in the sun! So was a bit awkward at first, not sure whether it would be ok to wear bikinis, but after being approached by a couple of Thai people trying to SELL us bikinis, we figured that it was justified, us stripping down to ours! The beach was nice, the sea was lovely, warm and big waves to play in. Generally great day.
After that, back to work and i have had a lot of primate duties, ok, but I miss the bears! Did a couple cool enrichments for the primates, yesterday, we cut pieces of hose pipe, filled them with mushed up banana, dog biscuits and seeds, froze them then gave them to the gibbons and siamong in the jungle. Today, for the gibbons and macaques, we took cardboard boxes (cereal, biscuits, etc) filled them with mango leaves, seeds and monkey chow then closed them and tied them up with vines, like wrapping ribbon round a parcel. Was cool to watch the animals responses, most just ripped the cardboard with their teeth, a couple pulled the end open and tipped it up, they kept them occupied for a long time!
Few days ago was sat in the volunteer house, having a break when Emma came up to me and asked me to do a tour for a group of FIFTEEN norwegian tourists that were staying in Hua-Hin! My first ever tour, to such a large group! Only a few spoke english so I had to explain to them, then they translated. It went okay, I was so scared at first but relaxed after. I think I covered most of the important points, and they all put money in the donation box at the end, which is the most important thing! The centre needs it! I had explained how the money volunteers pay to come here pays for the day-to-day running of the centre, but that is it. For any new equipment, expansion, new cages etc, they have to rely on donations and occasional sponsors. They are constantly getting new animals bought in (I think they have 336individuals at the mo) they have about 3empty cages, and they never turn an animal away, so it's kindof ongoing necessary expansion.
More people have arrived, there are loads of Brits now, quite weird! People that I care about are starting to leave, too, but it's always good to have changes in the volunteers.
Have been still going to bed by 10pm every night, I'm not very sociable in the evening, when other people stay up til midnight or later, but I get so tired! I think if I were to drink alcohol, like most do, I would be able to stay up later, but can't afford it, I have 200B now to last the 5days til I go and alcopops are 40B each, which would leave no more for icecreams, the most necessary expense! Cornettos here (or the thai equivalent, which is nicer) are only 50p and so good in the heat! So I kindof feel as if I am saving myself and will start going out a lot more again once Iam in Sydney. Only one week away!