Yesterday wasn’t really as bad as it sounds. Actually… it was.. I just kept telling myself it’s an adventure, I’m in Costa Rica, this hostel has no walls yay!!! But today was definitely better. The real reason I volunteered here is because I wanted to hold a sloth. I thought it might take a few days, I’d do some training, but no – Day 1 at the Jaguar Rescue Center and I cuddled with many sloths all day long. I could go home happy now.
I hopped on a bike at 7am and headed to the JRC. Of course, I got lost (even though there’s only one road). By the time I got there I was out of breath and sweating. Also, of course, I was still the first one there. Finally someone showed up, and sent me to work with Jimmy the gardener who didn’t speak one word of English, and gardening words are not in my spanish vocabulary. It took us 5 minutes to realize that we were both saying the word “rake.”
Rake I did. For about 3o minutes. Instantly I had blisters on both thumbs, but it wasn’t so bad, the chatty girl from Holland was “enjoying” it as much as me, so we spent a lot of time talking, not raking, and asking Jimmy por que do we have to rake everyday? Then I picked up a little horse manure and swept some hay. I have never gotten so dirty in such a quick amount of time.
There are only two tours a day, at 9:30 and 11:30 and then it’s closed to the public for the rest of the day. For a three week stay, you’re assigned to 1 job per week. Week 1- Garden. Week 2- Sloths. Week 3-Monkeys. So for week 1, I am supposed to hang with Jimmy all day, rake in the morning, do laundry by hand during tours, then rake some more in the afternoon.
But in typical Zoey-fashion, I managed to get around all of that. It seems that’s what everyone does. You get assigned a task, then you need to run and chase after a ocelot. A bird flies into the house so you have to go get it, etc.
After the little raking, I did do a little laundry, then I got the opportunity to sloth sit, and didn’t leave that chair for hours. I got to wake the sloths up and put them in trees to climb. I got to cuddle with them when they didn’t feel like climbing. I got hold 3 baby sloths at 1 time!! Holy crap, so much slothage going on. It may seem boring watching sloths all day, but it IS NOT! They are fascinating, and adorable and have so many facial expressions, and are just so damn slow its the cutest thing ever. There was also a monkey cage directly behind me for when I needed a change of scenery.
At 3 its feeding time. So I got to go into all the cages and put the food in, hand feeding a few sloths and injured birds. Good day. Just hope I can get out of raking every day.
After work I moved hostels and am now staying at what they call an “apartment”. Some of the rooms have kitchens (mine doesn’t) but it’s where the other volunteers are staying, it’s closer to the JRC and it’s only $15 a day. I’ll take it!
And now, a bunch of pictures of sloths!
To read about the rest of the trip, click below.