Saturday, April 30, 2011

April 30th, 2011 The Agricultural Fair A.K.A. freak show of craziness

     Today I accompanied Nikki and Dennis to the Agricultural Fair of Belize. Apparently this is a huge deal here and people come from all over to attend. It actually takes place right down the road from us and if it didn't I don't know if any of us would've made a special effort to attend. So how do I explain what I witnessed and felt at this place? Well a few words come to mind.....scary, hot, confused, more scariness, bleeding ears, lots of food, pretty horses, weird agriculture stuff, and did I mention scary?

 Now I must admit some of it was pretty interesting. The livestock seemed well taken care of because the farms and people who brought animals wanted to show them off. We didn't see anything that wasn't supposed to be there (like parrots or other native animals). Their were booze tents everywhere which I am always fond of. I think booze tents should have the mentality of Starbucks at these functions. Put them everywhere, people should be able to be at a tent and see another one in their line of sight, just like coffee.


Friday, April 22, 2011

April 22nd, 2011

As some of you may remember I received a Collared Aracari on February 9th at CASA from Belize Bird Rescue. This was my first encounter with a wild Toucan and it took me a few days worth of bleeding and yelling to get the hang of handling him properly. This little guy came in unable to use his legs and after an x-ray it was confirmed that he had a fractured pelvis. For over a month I had to work with him by designing a sling for him and having to put him in it for hours at a time each day.

   Right before I left CASA he was transferred into a small outdoor enclosure. A few weeks ago Dr. Isabelle took a look at him and then transferred him back to Belize Bird Rescue so he could go into a large outdoor enclosure. This morning he was finally released back into the wild!!! Yay!

    Our Pygmy Owl is also doing well. His wing is healing but very slowly since he refuses to keep a wing wrap on. He has also gained weight and is now a whopping 60 grams! I have given up on trying to find insects for him. Let's just say if I was a chicken I would have died long ago of starvation. 

               To get an idea of how small this little guy is just look at the roll of toilet paper behind him!

   We got in a Red-lored Parrot the other night who is also doing well. He wandered into someone's house and we think he is an escaped "pet." He is overweight which means he was probably on a diet of sunflower seeds and junk food and was probably kept in a small cage indoors for most of his life. He is currently in a large outdoor enclosure and is on a diet of fresh fruits and veggies. He is a very beautiful bird and loves to stretch out his wings so he can feel the breeze under them. Hopefully one day he will be released back out into the wild. (pics coming soon!)

          We also released the Wood Turtle that we rescued from the bleach tub a few weeks ago. He was a land tortoise that had been living in a small tub of water stacked two high with aquatic turtles. He had sores all over him and had been surviving on the occasional piece of grass. After we had picked him up we offered him a grape and he ate the whole thing while sitting on my lap. I have never seen a turtle so excited to see a piece of fresh produce! We released him on the property in the woods close to the creek. I wish him the best of luck in his second chance at being a normal wild turtle!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

April 16th, 2011

Today was quite an experience. Actually let me back up.......
    Nikki, the director of Belize Bird Rescue does a program with the Humane Society in elementary schools called Be Kind Belize. It teaches kids about their environment and the animals around them and how to be respectful of others etc.
   A few days ago I attended one of the school's graduation ceremonies. All the kids preformed little skits they had made up and got certificates for finishing the program. It was really cute even for a non kid person.

Notice the child in the middle with his mask still on : )

    Ok, so now on to today. I decided that since the children were so cute for the hour that I was with them it would be a good idea to come along on their zoo trip today. Every child that graduates from the program gets to go to the zoo and it's usually a combo of two schools in one trip. Today it was approximately 25 kids. We met up with them around 8:30am and were on the bus around 9am. I was assigned three children once we arrived at the zoo which turned into five children, which I had lost within ten minutes of getting into the zoo. By 10am I kind of felt like laying down in the jaguar pen. By 11am I had lost all of my patience but was too tired to do or say anything besides "stop it" and "don't do that." 

  Before we got back on the bus every child received a bag of water and a bag of chips. Around this same time I started to notice that the two schools were keeping their distance from each other. So basically we had just handed out ammunition to two opposing teams. The next ten minutes consisted of them squirting each other with water before getting on the bus. 

   The bus ride home wasn't too bad. A hand full of children sat next to me and behind me and told me stories about video game consoles, the newest in style shoes, and how all of them were best friends and why they disliked the kids from the other school. Words were thrown around like "rude, disrespectful, out of control, and bad." At first I tried to say things like "you should just ignore them, and non violence is better than violence etc. etc." They of course felt the opposite way about the situation and actually had a pretty good argument at the end. Apparently some of the boys from the other school said mean things about these boys Moms. Well, to be honest if I was back in grade school and anyone had said anything about my Mom I would've decked them too. I didn't say this of course, I just kept my mouth shut on that one. The last ten minutes or so of the bus ride consisted of everyone getting wet because some of the boys realized if they shot water out of the window it would come back in at others towards the back of the bus.

   So what did this little experience teach me today. Well I asked myself that same question as I drank a vodka and cranberry after the ordeal. My answer is this: I like some kids but would NEVER EVER EVER have kids of my own. Oh and it also made me appreciate my Mom even more than I usually do. She not only attended every single one of my school trips as a chaperone, but she did the same thing for my other three sisters as well. Big shout out to all the Moms (and grandmoms) out there, that job is way harder than they make it seem!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

April 7th, 2011

Wow where to start...........
    I am no longer with Casa Avian Alliance and the last I heard they are shutting down so please don't send any donations their way. I have been wanting to post all about the incident and circumstances surrounding my leaving but I am not one to dwell on things. I will however say this, karma is a bitch, and any person who would make silly accusations and then try to completely cut off all lines of communication to someone who has put their whole life on hold to come down here and work for almost nothing has got a whole crap load of karma headed there way. Eh but it is what it is. Luckily I am a very lovely person and have made friends down here that were nice enough to come and rescue me before the police escorted me off the property. If you are interested in the full story let me know otherwise just know that I am safe and sound and learned a lot from my experience.

Ok on to the present day. I am currently working at a different Bird Rescue in Belize and having a blast. She has all kinds of animals to love on and care for including parrots, baby chickens, dogs, and ducks. She also gets in injured animals so I can do rehab (which was the point of me coming here) as well. We had an Aracari this week, a barn owl last week, and a turtle currently. I have also done more and seen more in the past few weeks than I had in the past three months.

Yes, sometimes things really suck but usually things tend to work themselves out in the end. I can honestly say I am really happy down here now. I am doing what I love, I am surrounded by good people, and I don't feel like a prisoner at a compound anymore : )