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Friday, May 23, 2014

The Monkey Farm

As you're travelling, many things catch your attention and sound like amazing experiences. Most of them turn out incredible, positive, lifetime memories. Some leave you wanting. Some are outright miserable. The Monkey Farm was somewhere in between the latter two.

After such an inspiring experience at our first workaway, we had high hopes for The Monkey Farm. It lured us with a permaculture farm which produced food for the volunteers, many animals to tend to, and an animal rescue center which would take care of orphaned monkeys, armadillos, dogs, cats, or any other critter that needed a home. Sounds great, yeah?

What we arrived to was a dried up piece of property in Playas del Coco, Costa Rica with a sagging old cabin called the "volunteer quarters" and some goats, ducks, and chickens meandering about in the dust.

It wasn't that we couldn't handle getting our hands dirty on the farm and sleeping in some rustic accommodations. It's more that we expected something closer to what was advertised - more of the finished product rather than the work in progress.

It wasn't all bad though. We did get to befriend the pirate-ninja-monkey you see here. This is Peanut. She was rescued by The Monkey Farm from what would have been certain death. But look at her now! She makes this face when you blow raspberries other tummy:

Look at this smiling baby!
We also got to experience the births of Dora and Diego, the new goats you see here. We also milked their momma, Buttercup, because they were struggling to nurse the first few days.

Twins, Dora and Diego
There is something about digging through old fruit and vegetables intended for the pigs for your dinner, and cleaning the pig pen by hand that tends to leave one with a sour taste in the their mouth (and a pain in the stomach...parasites, NOOOOO!!!). But between connecting with the animals and other volunteers, and some of the beautiful scenery, I'd say we came out of this one only a few notches below average.

"Sometimes you just have to wanna go for a ride!"
Just a guy and his monkey

We gave a tour to students at a local school. Fell in love with this little cutie right away, and the feeling appears to be mutual.