ShelbySkinner's Travel Journals

ShelbySkinner

  • 26 years old
  • From Yellowknife, Canada
  • Currently in San Jose, Costa Rica

My adventures through Costa Rica, Peru, and Ecuador

Weekly updates of my trip

Week two at Yana Cocha and Quito

Ecuador Puyo, Ecuador  |  Nov 23, 2014
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Week two at Yana Cocha was a little less overwhelming than the first week since "I knew what I was doing." The tasks are similar each week so I won't bore you with the day to day details like my last post.

To start, my stomach felt significantly better but was still not 100%. I decided to start using my water purification drops on the already filtered water just to be on the safe side. I also stopped eating cereal in the morning since calcium can lead to some nasty side effects with the malaria pills I am taking. My replacement ailment was a leaky, red eye so my week was off to a great start ;)

I learned a ton about the animals this week while doing rounds with Ebba! We did the Lores Grandes (large birds) on Monday and I made the mistake of bringing in the food bucket before we had finished cleaning. These guys would not leave the bucket of food so I could put it on their feeding tables and Ebba told me that the beaks of the large macaws could actually break your fingers! Needles to say I kept my hands away and scared them away with a broom! On Tuesday I did monkeys in the morning which is super messy but I enjoy it. Fernanda the Capuchin monkey still hates my yellow gloves; she was throwing sticks and herself at me through the fence. Luckily we don't go in the enclosures with these guys because they are super aggressive. They are also very intelligent and are often the monkeys you see in movies because they can easily be trained. These guys have special locks on their cages that you have to spin because they know how the other locks work. They are also at risk of going crazy when they are in captivity because they understand that they are trapped. Therefore it is still unclear whether it is beneficial to bring them to animal refuges or not.

Cosumbu, the honey bear, was very active during the day this week; I saw him at least 2 times! He is nocturnal and must have been hungry since his roommate Mapache the racoon always beats him to the food. He has a really long tongue for getting honey and I took a pretty cool picture of it this week.

I got to go fishing with Kajsa again this week. It was much more enjoyable and successful this time since it wasn't raining. The fish we catch are talapia and most are smaller than my hand. When we feed them to the animals we put them in their pools so they can fish for them like they would do in the wild. Poor Fernando the weasle had a very full pool so he couldn't find his fish and had to wait until the next day when we cleaned his pool.

I got to feed the Chichicos, Pigmees, and squirrel monkeys baby food and crickets twice this week. This is their favorite food so they get really excited when they see you coming. The Chichicos get their crickets in a tube with holes to resemble a tree and the others get them on their feeding tables. This is the best time to get photos of the Pigmees since you can't seem them from outside the cage. There are two babies right now that are attached to the adults at all times. They are starting to show their cute little faces so I got some nice pictures. 

The food at lunch this week was not the greatest. We had some strange dark meat that I think was tongue and the texture was aweful! Our dinners are always good because we get to cook them. We had pasta, tacos, and lots of veggies for the dinners this week. The best meal was Friday night when we went to El Jardin for dinner! I had talapia with a ginger sauce that was to die for! If I had been in the comfort of my own home I would have picked the plate clean but I did a pretty good job with my fork ;)

On Saturday morning Honor and I headed back to Quito on the bus. It was quicker than I was expecting and the bus was very comfortable for only five dollars. We had these yummy ice cream bars that are made with different types of fruit. We arrived in Quito around two and met for dinner later that night. We had a huge traditional Ecuadorian meal with steak, chicken, potato and cheese pancakes, and vegetables and then went for dessert. I have finally found a cake that is too sweet for me! It was chocolate with dulce design leche sauce and very tasty.

On Sunday we did some site seeing in Quito. We took a cable car up a volcano near the city. The walk up was short but very steep but we made it. Unfortunately the clouds rolled in just as we got to the top so I didn't get very good shots of the city. After that we went to the market and had guyabana juices and bought fresh fruit. We indulged in some ice cream at Heladoria San Augustin in Old Town before heading back to our hostels. I met up with Diana again to talk about my experience that evening at a crepe place. I had a crepe with bananas, ice cream, and whipped cream on top :)

That's it for this week folks! I head to the Galapagos on Tuesdays then back to Canada two weeks later. 2.5 months of volunteering over already. Ciao!

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