Thursday, September 24, 2009

Surprise visit to Santa Cruz

Today 12 of us volunteers decided to accompany Noemi (the park coordinator) to Santa Cruz to help out with a demonstration to bring attention to the road being built through Parque Machia. The parade marched through Plaza 24 de Septiembre (named after today´s holiday - the anniversary of the founding of the Department of Santa Cruz) and it was very exciting. We had signs publicizing what Inti Wara Yassi is about and everyone was clapping when we walked by. There was also a short speech given about the situation at the other park. This is great for the organization because there were a lot of important people in attendance in addition to the large crowds of locals. The procession is also going to be on TV in a few days! Tonight we will all head back to the park. Im exhausted from sleeping on the bus last night, Santa Cruz is about 6 hours away from Ambue Ari.
A lot of stuff has been going on at the park in the past week. I worked on cutting Engine a new trail, which wasn't quite as easy as I had expected but it is completed now and he is (hopefully) going to walk it for the first time tomorrow! A past volunteer had cut him some unauthorized trails that went very close to other cats trails and when we had to stop using them he was not a happy camper. He would try to go down the old trails for hours and get himself very agitated. So I decided it would be much better to just make a new trail as a diversion. Its taken all week because we have also been working on the Fire Trail. It is a large band around the park that ideally will prevent the neighboring fires from spreading into our land. Also, a lot of people have been asking about cats they used to work with so here is an update on Ru. He was getting quite playful and Parque Machia made a decision to take his collar off and discontinue walking him, permanently. But Noemi came up with the idea of letting him out on the runner an extending it to the river so he could swim. I went out to see him one day and it is really sad to see such a beautiful and amazing animal imprisoned in his cage. They haven't tried the new routine yet but personally I think its a great compromise that will keep volunteers safe and is good for Ru. I was in such a rush to pack for our day trip that I completely forgot to pack my camera cord :( so I will have to attempt to upload pictures on the slow connection in Guarayos next time I'm there. Until then ... I miss everyone back in the states!

Where are you in the world?