Coco, Chula and me -the one in the middle!-
Everyday I’m met at the sanctuary by the star duo that is baby Chula and Coco. Kneel down and they plod right over giving you great big donkey hugs although Chula does have a small tendency to nip your back from time to time. Maybe just me.
Got to say I was surprised when we let them rejoin the herd once Chula was big enough. Surprised to see cute little Mama Coco just run amok in Donkeyland beating the shite out of any donk stupid enough to breath in the direction of her baby. She became a bit spoiled while in that separate enclosure I notice when extra treats come out and baby Chula gets hoofed away until Coco’s satisfied that you have no more.
Each one has its own funny, crazy and cheeky little character and over time you start to learn who is who and who does what. Within the herd they have their own cliques and groups, however there are donkey enemies and so never a dull moment when drama has four legs.
Another Mama donk, this time One-Eye and she has an ear infection. Aww.. The name One-Eye suggests that an ear infection and having a baby are not her only flaws.
Although her foot-obsessed daughter is fine, the fact is that they can’t be separated and so we have to put both of them in a coral with young Amadeus and Bunny –another Mum and baby- until that ear gets better. Every day that ear needs cleaned and sprayed but when working with animals things can always go tits up!
I have a rope tied round the bridle on her head and as I’m just about to put it around the fence to secure her while I clean the infected ear.. “BAAAAA”! Stomp, stomp, stomp “ROAR”! stomp, stomp, stomp.
Shit, goat stomping time with a little black ball of fur getting a real good ass kicking –pardon the pun-. I wasn’t fast enough to save the last one but I’m damned sure there not getting this one as well.
Wading neck deep into midst of Donkygeddon and almost having one land on me in the process of this increasingly regrettable good deed of the day, I pluck the stupid little fur ball from the claws(?) of Sparkle and shout “NO! Not this time fatty. Stop looking at me like that”.
They’re not entirely chuffed to see it being taken out alive, but there it is. Sprayed its wounds purple with disinfectant and let it go outside. If it comes back then I might have to stomp it myself.
Returning to my manky ear cleaning duties only to discover one dead looking donkey lying on the ground with all four legs completely wrapped up in rope. Oh dear!
She’s not dead but definitely seen better days. The other end of the rope I’d dropped had gotten caught on the fence while I was away being a hero and during the excitement of a goat on the loose, she’d spun around completely binding all four legs. Time now for that purple spray you hate so much while your daughter destroys my boots. Poor One-Eye and poor boots!
Time to wear some meds..
One-Eye gets a Donkacure
These boots were made for biting..
Primrose ‘The destroyer of boots’
Looks like I enjoyed that! (?)
So onward and upward to some free time I can actually share. A bucket list box that doesn’t involve women but may involve a certain amount of harm once Mum learns that I’m doing something dangerous again. “So why would you throw yourself out of a perfectly good aeroplane”?
Because the door was open!
The door was held shut by fuckin VELCRO!! Never mind turtle heid..Whole turtle body poking out my arse all the way down! Thought they were joking when they said “Hope you don’t get sucked out the hole in the floor”. Massive hole in the floor big enough to fit a leg through hidden partially by my bum for most of the way, not to mention the fact I had to lean against a whole shiny array of important looking knobs n’ buttons in the cockpit. “Well, we’ve got parachutes, you don’t”! Fuck you man!
As the parachute burst into life I for one second thought I’d come loose from the harness holding me to the instructor “FFFUUUUUCCCKKK”! Then a reassuringly tight yet sickly wedgie the rest of the way down. I can say I’ve done it now and I don’t need to do that again!
Skydiving was what I believe to be a massively cool thing to do, but not half as cool as my nephews take on what I’m doing here. “My uncle jumps out of planes to rescue baby donkeys”! If only there was such a job. Maybe there is? Google..
. . .
Being far too cheap to ‘splash’ out for scuba, I decide a little snorkel time might be just the thing when on an Island known for having the best beaches in the world and so off I plod with my snorkel and mask at the ready. I’m looking for fatties to swim near so the sharks will eat them first. I’m told sharks don’t come this close to shore but I just can’t help but think of Jaws.
I still remember as a kid after watching that horrible movie, when finished my business (a big jobbie) in the bathroom, I’d stretch out a trembling arm, flush and RUN as fast as I could up the stairs and throw myself into bed making sure every bit of my body was safely hidden from the great white shark now circling the carpet floor –as they do-..and now I’m alone in the Caribbean sea!
Dazzled by the color and multitude of tropical fish and coral beneath me I drift on through this spectacular new underwater world. Fazed not by the stupid little jellyfish that show us how it feels to have your bodily hair pulled from its roots. Nor by the not-so distant whirring of a speedboat engine propelling it’s way by, but a look up to check my baring’s and I’M FUCKING MILES AWAY! Oh if a shark came now?!
Splash, splash, frantic splash, I can fucking smell a shark coming and it can sure as Hell smell me! Splash, splash, splash. No fatties, no-one at all and now crawling up the sand until I’m shading under the stomach of a big, red fatty.
“Fancy a wee swim”?
Who’s driving this thing?
Calm like a Hindu cow
Whole lotta cactus..
Jaws is my bitch
I really want to see one of our vets again. She’s the second Belgian I think I’ve met in my life and the first one was pretty hot as well (also owes me a bum massage -read the post Andy, where’s yer troosers) which tells us that all Belgians are hot and there might just be more to that country than Dr. Evil and Tintin.
The problem is I think I can only see her when a donkey gets smashed on the road. My way of thinking leads me to believe in a course of action that involves patrolling the country roads in search of a donkey to plough. Trouble with this is my mode of transport –bicycle-. My planed phone call of “Quick, I need a hot, blonde Belgian vet IMMEDIATELY”, might turn into a newspaper review of the Scottish guy ploughed by a donkey. I should just visit Belgium and be done with it.
Aruba would be kind to me where women are concerned. Now let’s be honest, what girl can really say no to the line “You want to come and feed my baby donkeys”?
I would become romantically involved with a hot girl from Surinam and things do seem to be going as every man dreams for almost a whole week.
Seeming happy enough with my honesty about only looking for a bit of fun due to my short time on the island, I thought I’d finally struck lucky and I had, but this God fearing, mother of four nanny would soon completely swamp me with phone calls and messages explaining that God had sent me to Aruba for her and that now she’d told her boss about me we’d better become more serious. Fuck this, I’ve known you one week, what’s it going to be like after six months?
Time to call it a day on what was a wonderful thing minus the Bible quotes and inability to understand the concept of me not being religious. She would continue this bombardment for the next few months and never in my life would I ever have imagined myself to be pissed off by a beautiful woman not taking no for an answer but there you have it. I have no opinion on the topic of religion and only know that whether there is or isn’t something up there, it won’t change a thing about the way I do things.
Never realised how much I love being single.
With much moving on from this brief and crazy relationship -on my part-, I answer the fit Colombian girl’s question of “You want fun with me and my friend, two girls 100 Floren” (£36). I turn, take her by the hand and lead her back inside the doorway that she stands on front. “Is this your room”?
She’s taken by surprise. “Really, you want both of us”?
Afterwards, I’m asked for my phone number by the fittest half of this hot Latin threesome, looking like the Voodoo girl from Pirates of the Caribbean (Tia Dalma). I don’t believe for one second that she’ll call and so I give her the number I’ve been using during my time here. Low and behold who would start calling the next day? My boss Desiree is going to go nuts when I hand her mobile back after my six months. Colombian babes and Surinam preachers galore. Let us hope I remember to delete past messages!
. . .
It was assumed that I did nothing during my free time on the island but nothing in-fact could be further from the truth. I just couldn’t be so forthcoming with how my time was being spent. Let us just say that I am single again by this point and I’ll spare you the grizzly details concerning eight Colombian hotties –all of which are ladies of the night or day even seeing as it’s cheaper when the suns up- including one that called herself Shakira. I have no doubt that her real name was not Shakira but I’m still claiming that one. Hardly Casanova then and no bragging rights to really shout about, not even a cheeky joke about being in two places at once, but I can truly say that I’ve lived now those boxes are filled. Sorry.
Don’t know what I’m doing in this picture, but Primrose does not look impressed.
* Bragging? It’s hardly bragging when we know I have to pay for it but watch me backtrack like fuck the second I meet someone who’s worth all the shite..or just don’t tell her I have a blog!
Do YOU want to feed my baby donk?
“What a nice looking camera, but does it taste as good as your bike did”?
My afternoons are spent volunteering at the Donkey Sanctuary where I’m kept amused by sixty eight cheeky little fellows Hell-bent on destruction, getting in my way and commandeering the wheelbarrow. I am getting pretty good at giving the speech to tourists about our work here and exactly how a guy from Scotland wound up in Aruba with possibly the coolest job on Earth. You could say I can talk the hind-legs off a donkey -sorry-!
I am a very happy man here even though the visa people are trying their best (by not trying at all) to make it difficult to extend my stay here. I’ve had painkillers work faster than these people and I honestly think if I took some of our donkeys, stuck a tie on them and put them in that office they would not do any worse than those employed right now. The words ‘get your ass in gear’ have never seemed more appropriate!
Most tourists that visit our sanctuary are nice enough and with the more I learn about these furry dudes –the donks-, the more I enjoy showing folk around and giving the grand tour. Stupid questions like “How do you tell which ones are male”? and “Do donkeys have teeth” from adults(!) can be forgiven but during the space of six months you will meet some visitors who really should be chopped up and fed to chickens;
“It’s not safe for your son to feed the donkeys out there. They surround you and fight with each other.”
“That’s OK, my son is tough”.
Fine then you old boot. Hope your son gets bum raped by sixty eight furry little murderers.
. . .
Locking up for the day and taking my time about it. With searing tropical cycle home to look forward to I feel no need to rush anything at this time of day and so I’m making myself a nice wee brew while counting today’s takings from the cash-register.
From the sudden explosion of activity outside, it would appear World War Three has just begun and as I step out the shop to inspect the latest donkey drama –last time they beat an old lady to the ground and stole her bag of carrots-, I feel myself stumped by their well hidden little dark side.
A pace of donkeys form around a young, wild goat that’s had the sheer nerve and stupidity to enter this lair and help itself to some gold-dust (hay). The circle of death closes in.
Stomping, biting, dragging, the blood-lust begins. With tilted-back ears and slanted eyes, they home in on their chosen target and by the time I get between these raging beasts the damage is done. Billy is an ex-goat. I take the dead animal in my arms and make my way to the Sanctuary café area, but now I am surrounded! They have built what would seem like an impenetrable wall of donkey around me. “Put the goat down and walk away”. Or “ EEEEEAAAWWW”! To you and me.
Being something of a donkey wrecking ball allows me to break through and escape into the safety of my café where I lay down our deceased horned one and continue cashing up well aware that our lovable little donkeys have now surrounded the area and are staring intently at the corpse on the floor.
Moments later while packing envelope’s into the safe I sense unease from outside. Not again!
Arriving late and now standing over our cabbaged one I now feel the need to explain to these tourists exactly why I have a dead goat in the middle of the café floor. “It’s our donkeys! Be VERY careful, they hate Americans almost as much as goats”!
Carrying Billy towards the front gate where his final resting place awaits (thorn bushes and cactus) I am once again menacingly stalked by murderous villains who still want more. I think in future when I see a Christmas scene involving that token, beloved donkey in a manger consisting of a baby a goat and a cow I will be thinking “this is an accident waiting to happen”, camera’s at the ready especially if Mary’s got a bag of carrots!
My supervising donk Thunder. Forever nosey.
I had a decision to make while preparing trees for the coming orange season in Sicily. To stay and make the most of a further seven months traveling and farming through Italy or make my way back home now and find out if a possible six month project working on a donkey sanctuary in Aruba is actually going to happen.
I make my way back. Best decision I ever made.
Traveling the world was always a dream for me and now that’s what I do. After wasting so much time chasing skirt and wondering how great it would be to find the right one, I then discover that not having that shit is exactly how I live this life of adventure. It all worked out better than I could have hoped, but let us never speak too soon!
So living with my parents when in Scotland is a massive part of how I still manage to do this. I do work when I’m here and I pay my own way but living in a nice village so close to a large industrial area has meant I don’t need a car and just think of all the money that’s saved when you don’t have a mortgage, wife, kids and a dog named Sue. Depends what you want in life really.
This time I’m taking part in The Leonardo Project which is a vocational educational non-profit programme funded by The European Voluntary Service. I’ve just told everyone I know that I’m going to Nubia, but I don’t have to feel so stupid about this little geographical mistake. I’m still going to the Caribbean for six months and they’re not!
My working days will be split between Arikok National Park in the mornings, before it’s too hot to work and afternoons with the donks at the sanctuary which is fine for me. I’ve notched up a few good projects by now, but this looks like it could be the best .
. . .
My early commute by bicycle to volunteer at the Arikok National Park is comparable to cycling inside an over-sized hand-dryer, but I wouldn’t like to imagine how this windy little country would feel without that strong breeze. My last words in Scotland before setting off were “Thank fuck I’m leaving this windy shite”, so let’s not pretend I was always so chirpy towards a breeze so strong and constant that the trees grow sideways!
Arikok in the mornings after surviving another gauntlet of increasingly annoying dogs would consist of watering the garden, prostitute spotting in San Nicolas, general upkeep of the surrounding area, snake patrol when our resident rattle snake escapes and an unexpected sight of Hitler’s grave in the pet cemetery –who calls their dog Hitler?-!
As much as I do appreciate advice on poisonous plants during my first week I do, however feel that we could work a little on our timing with such issues now that my face resembles a ruptured scrotum. Everything my venom-smeared little fingers touched that day became a hideous mass of rash and swelling. After a much regretted toilet break I took on the appearance of a porn-star Popeye!
This thirty four Km2 National Park covers almost twenty percent of the island and is home to about a million billion boa. Seriously, well maybe a little exaggeration but it really is a huge problem here. Some phantom thought it a good idea to bring some as pets then just let the go free. Free to decimate the indigenous bird populations and munch all our chickens at The Donkey Sanctuary. And so we have a boa box!
Boa box..Something I do see everyday!
I could say that it’s not every day I see a box of snakes but thanks to my time here that would not be true. Eventually a vet would come to ‘take care’ of our slithery fellows but until then I can learn a thing or two like how funny it is to watch a Ranger open the box, shit himself as a snake propels itself on to his leg and then watch him flap this specimen up, into the air and onto his equally snake-fearing friend!
On one of my first days off I take a stroll down towards one of the many great beaches that surround this Caribbean island and got talking with an old local about island life and the donkeys on Aruba:
“These days it’s all cars, cars, cars. Cars bumping into each-other, people getting hurt. I remember not so long ago when it was all donkeys. Donkeys, donkeys, donkeys. Everywhere donkeys and what happens when a donkey bumps into another donkey? You get more damned donkeys”! Gotta love the old timers and their take on things.
The need for a cold, cold beer on this scorching day leads me to a nice, not-so little family restaurant where I prop myself up at the bar and order some fries. It’s about five pm and there are maybe four large American families strewn throughout, it is a tourist bar after all. I press the near frozen bottle against my sunburnt, balding head and stare up at the television. What the fuck?
Aruba is a dependent territory of Holland and so it comes as no surprise that they would watch Dutch programmes but let us remember what time it is here then know that Holland is six hours ahead. Yes, there is a plethora of vaginas popping up on screen in a variety of styles, most notably one grown and styled to resemble a Jewish set of sideburns. I look towards the barmaid only to see that she too is watching this, her favorite show! I think this is a bit much with all these kids running around and then in true Dutch style things get a little more naughty with the introduction of fingers. At least there’s no cock.. Oh there it is! Think a line has been crossed in the world of family dining establishments, but then maybe the barmaids just thinking ‘when’s this weirdo gonna leave so I can watch Pop Idol’?
New meaning to ‘Pop a cap in yo ass’!
Been far too long since I put anything up here so I thought I’d just let everyone know I’m still alive and starting to put my notes together from the last six months I spent in Aruba volunteering at The Donkey Sanctuary and working with the park rangers in Arikok National Park.
Some crazy stuff to come..
Where to start?
Might take a few more days for anything to be ready, so here are a few pics.
Bucket list.. Soon to be Bucket fucked!
Coco and Chula.. Hell hath no wrath..!
You heard of a rocking horse, but did you ever have a stalking donkey?
Attack comes not from the front, but from the ones you didn’t even know were there. JURASSIC DONKS!
No photos of Aruba yet so heres a picture taken shortly before the forest police arrived and went nuts..Ehh, wasn’t me!
With my latest adventure planned I thought it best to take a moment to explain why I haven’t put up any posts for a while on my blog and why some recent posts are not in order of when things happened.
I’m going to live and work on a donkey farm and also volunteer at a National park in Aruba in the Caribbean. I will be there for six months. This is step one in my plans for 2013 but I can’t say for sure what I will do afterwards. Definitely something along the lines of travel and adventure anyway. I have ideas but nothing concrete yet, suggestions welcome.
The last part of my book Without Wax kind of ended with the post http://withoutwaxblogdotcom.com/2012/11/30/looking-forward/ ,but then Only in Panama (Porn to raise Hell) was a little story I’d forgotten to write about so I just stuck it on there after starting my attempt at an introduction to a second book with a post called ‘Round 2′.
Oh yeah.. There is also an advert for party poker that doesn’t fit in at all, but lets not dwell on my selling out!
I really have to live it before I can write about it so you know as much as I what will feature next.
Hopefully I can finally find my geek (I love the bookworm type) and you can read a ‘happy ever after’ post at some point. Until then you might have to settle for me doing what I unfortunately do best. So if you are sporting a MASSIVE pair of glasses, woolly jumper two sizes too big with a bland pony tail draped down your back then you can find me somewhere in Aruba. I’ll be the one scooping donkey poop with skin like a lobster!
Happy travels people and I hope to update soon..