Girls On Top

November 2005

There has been a lot going on at Pilpintuwasi,but as I had to go to university, I didn’t have time to write.

First let me go back to September/October when the Australian “Girls on Top” — Jade, Emma and Saffy — visited us.

Painting.They came to help us, and one of the first things they did was to implement a small handcrafts shop at Pilpintuwasi. Until that time we only offered T-shirts to our visitors, and there was no shop, just a little house.

The “Girls on Top” renovated the house, painted it and bought handcrafts from our nearby village, Padrecocha, and also some imported things with butterflies, like hairpins and-slides, butterfly earrings etc. The three young women stayed at the village for 10 days and came everyday to Pilpintuwasi. After leaving,they started to continue their fundraising for us, and just now I got the great newJade with Chavo.s, that they’ll have almost $8,000 for us.

Logically, they want to know what we would do if we get that money, so I just sent them the budget for a new and better fence for our land. We can make a new fence and we also could plant more trees for the monkeys.

December 13, 2005

Dear Jade:

Here fortunately everybody is fine since the death of Bonzo—yes I was worried about all the animals, as I said—if Bonzo, being apparently so strong could die so fast, what about the others??

So, finally last week I convinced one of the vets of the Primate Centre of Iquitos to come out to Pilpintuwasi and check out the monkeys

Dra Nofre, a lady, came with her family on Saturday and stayed a few hours so to be able to have a look at all the five monkeys we’ve got now, including the baby Howler we received from a fisherman last week (he had killed and eaten the mother), and a small Capuchin monkey, which was left at the orphanage by a Hungarian Tourist who had pitied the animal and bought it from some street children. They had kept the monkey day and night on their shoulders. .He was full of fleas and quite skinny, but he’s very lively and very cheeky with the other monkeys. Unfortunately the tourist didn’t ask the name of the monkey so we call him Tony (Robler calls him Tony Piraña, because Piranhas are what street children who are little robbers are called).

After checking the monkeys, the vet told me that they are all fine and healthy, none of them has a weak lung or heart, and that Chavo is so skinny because he moves so much and doesn’t eat almost any carbohydrates. The vet also said that she has never seen any other monkeys in “captivity” that are in such a good state and evidently happy.

Well, I felt as if a stone had fallen from my heart; Chavo is not sick, as I had worried because of his skinniness. The vet told me to put Vitamin B complex into the drinking water of the monkeys, which might increase Chavo’s appetite.

With the two little monkeys there is a lot of care, feeding , checking where they are etc, so that I’m almost happy to hear that the strike at the university that started again at the end of November will go on for the next week—if not I wouldn’t know what to do with my students. . . on the other hand, if I had known that there are no classes around Christmas, I would have accepted my mother’s invitation to come to Austria for Christmas when she asked me in October.

I’m happy that you got the drawings of the children from Padrecocha and that you like them.

I have to hurry up now as I still have to buy lettuce for the manatee, but I’ll write soon again. I hope everyone is fine.


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