The normality of abnormal, and the luxury of Juice

I handfeed impalas, have a warthog following me around like a dog and I berate the caracals when they nibble at my toes. Had you told me I would do this a week ago, I would have laughed. Sure, I had by then arrived at Harnas, and was mentally preparing myself for the work I would do as a volunteer, but it would sound so strange, so unreal. Now it’s my everyday life. It feels so normal, and it has only been a week (it was a week on Friday).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still amazed, but perhaps some things can be normal and stunning at the same time. Do you guys have any things like that?

I was asked on a previous post to tell about what life is like at Harnas. I’ll try to explain the inexplainable.

Each day is different. It can consist of the following: foodprep, animal walk, farmwork, tours (here we are usually with tourists and help the guide feed the animals), naturedrive, nightdrive, radiotracking and probably more that I don’t know about yet.

Usually something happens. Rabbits escape, an animal gets injured or there’s suddenly not enough food.

There are however some consistenzy. We have work from 08 until 12, then again 15 until 18. We eat breakfast at 07, lunch at 13, and dinner at 19.

In addition there’s a party every Wednesday. Then everyone dresses up as close to the chosen theme as possible. The party is a goodbye to the people that leave the next day. On Friday’s new people arrive (I’m no longer a newbie!)

Here’s a picture of me before the party thisWednesday, can you guys guess what I dressed up as?


There is one more thing that is consistent. The serving of juice. We don’t have hot water in the showers. Only a few can have a second portion at dinner. Everyone wants to interact with the baby cheetahs (but there can’t be more than three at the same tim). What really gets on people’s nerves though, are the juice.

It is served under The Tree (where we meet before we begin work), sometime between 14:35 and 15:00. We are supposed to meet at 14:45 – most of us are there way earlier. Because if you show up before the juice comes on the table, you have a chance of getting a glass (you can never refill it. What if everyone has got some, and there’s more left? Sure, but that never happens).

Juice is a luxury here. It’s cold and it’s not water. The taste is also kind of good. You get used to it.


P.S. There is served cake with the juice. I admit that that might be part of the reason why some of the others show up early. For me though, it’s all about the juice.

7 thoughts on “The normality of abnormal, and the luxury of Juice

  1. I can’t believe this is your real life now!! Even though it’s a lot of work, it must feel pretty amazingm most people spend 9-5 in an office somewhere, and you feed raw meat to lions and interact with animals many people only get to see on television 🙂 Love reading your blog, update soon! What kind of food to you eat at Harnas? What is a typical food-day?


    1. Thanks, I’ll try!:)
      Yeah, it is amazing, surreal, but still amazing! I recommend it:)
      Meat. We eat meat. And more meat. Pork, chicken and I don’t ask anymore. It’s generally good though; I haven’t gotten sick yet;)


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