If you had a bad day

And you’re taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don’t know
You tell me don’t lie
You work at a smile and go for a ride
You had a bad day
The camera don’t lie
You’re coming back down and you really don’t mind
You had a bad day
You had a bad day

– Bad day, Daniel Powter

My plan was to tell and show you The Village in this post; the place where the volunteers sleep, eat and hang around. Instead I’m about to get very real with you guys. Because sometimes you have a bad day.

It started out cold. Even under my duvet I was freezing. Then it seemed like it would be a normal abnormal day; I was on foodprep – merecats to feed, a blind vervet needs a new blanket and preparing food. However, today was not going to be normal. A few of our coordinators left earlier this week, and one of them was The Baboon Man. He usually fed the teenagers, remember them?Β The Baboon bullies With him gone, my team, the Snoobabs, have to feed them. Oh god, no. I asked someone to help me. Here’s how it went:

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AUCH! Bruises and bites and my first torn shirt 😦

In my last post I had a picture of a baboon trying to get out, to get me, I was sure he was thinking. Turns out I was right, huh?

I could have handled that though. It was scary to be attacked; bitten and scratched, but one gets over that here at Harnas. When working with wild animals, this is a risk, this is reality. The feeling of failing, that’s what I’m struggeling with. I want the baboons to respect me. I want to be able to be with them without fear – like some of the people here can. But whatever I do, I seem to get it wrong. I don’t understand them. And that makes me scared. Others going: but you should have done this and this, doesn’t help. Luckily there’s always those that go: “you want a lollypop?”, and squeeze your arm.

Today I wanted to give up. I haven’t connected with my teammates, my best friend here explained she would have to cut her stay short because of something at home – and it felt like everything was wrong.

We all have these days. And they’re hard, especially when your friends and family are on the other side of the world. It’ll get better though. It always does. And until then, it’s okay to feel a bit bad, ’cause you had a bad day.

Namibia ❀

P.S. What saved my day today was the story of another volunteer’s encounter with another group of baboons: The Crazy Six. He has been bitten countless of times- he never goes in without coming out with a new wound. This week though, when cleaning their enclosure with a coordinator, he had had enough. The Baboon bit him as usual. This time the volunteer had a shovel in hand. He lifted it and went “baboon” on the baboon. At that moment, the boss of this whole place came by. She started yelling “don’t hit my baboons!”, and the coordinator quickly tried to get the volunteer’s attention going “she’s the boss, she’s the boss”, and the volunteer kept chasing the Baboon yelling back “but I’m the volunteer! I’ll kill this fucking baboon!”

P.P.S. I went to the baby baboons enclosure after the vetrinerian had cleaned my wounds. We had a nice chat about the teens. Finally someone held my hand without trying to skin it.

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Yes. They are cute. But look at those teeth! Imagine them bigger. Sharper. Biting down on you. F’ings baboons.


9 thoughts on “If you had a bad day

  1. SNOOBABS! Love it! I have to say it doesn’t look like the baboons like you… πŸ˜› Hahaha. Though it looks like they hurt you 😦 Maybe you should refuse to feed them? Or get training in how to do it?

    Can you imagine if you asked yourself before you went to Namibia: Which animals will cause the most trouble? Lions? Leopards? No, no. It’s the BABOONS!! πŸ˜€

    Good luck ❀ Hope today was a better day for you πŸ™‚ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They do hurt me. A lot. However I can’t refuse to feed them. They need food too, and the few people that’s comfortable with feeding them are not always around.
      Before any interaction with the animals we are told how to behave. The problem is that in reality, dominance is the only thing that matters. You can keep calm all you want, and they’ll still bite you to the blood. You have to show that you are stronger than them, only then will they respect you. To do this though you have to win a fight. And show as little fear as possible. It’s not easy, but I’ll try again. And again. I’ve got six weeks left, so I have to find a solution to this problem:)

      Haha, I never imagine that they had this sharp teeth either 😁

      Thanks, you too:)


  2. So many memories in this headline ❀ Keywords: Daniel Powter, Bente, 6 xD

    But back to the real thing: I'm sorry to hear that you had a bad day 😦 The bruises and bites looks painful! Stupid Baboons! But as you say, it's a risk when you live and work with wild animals. And really sucks that you haven't connected with your teammates – really hope it get's better ❀

    Liked by 1 person

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