Wendy Martini spent 2 weeks volunteering at the monkey rescue centre in South Africa in October 2019. She has written a wonderful poem about her experience, which summarises her unique experience beautifully. Thank you for sharing Wendy!

Volunteer at the monkey rescue centre in South Africa


Online Oyster gave this awful insight,
On extinction of the primates plight.
Taken away are their trees and lands,
Not by Rhino, but by human hands.
So off to monkey rescue centre I must go,
Passport in one hand and luggage in tow.
Taken me three planes to get to South Africa,
To Limpopo Province, in fact, Phalaborwa.
First and economy class to a teeny tiny plane.
At least there’s sun shine and no UK rain.
Gone have my designer clothes, my Jasper Conran.
Bye bye Julien Macdonald, I’m your biggest fan.
It’s Primark shorts and vest tops.
Jogging bottoms, wellies and Poundland flip flops.
Steve is our leader and Debs’ husband too,
They give us guidance on what to do.
I am here to try and do my bit,
At the ready in my working kit.
To the clinic to check monkey poo,
Cleaning mats and cages too.
Then off to wash peppers and a million bananas,
Not forgetting the oranges and endless papayas.
But to save primates here is my dedication,
Through making up bottles & food preparation.
The little babies are really so so cute,
Yes.. after they’ve pissed down your shorts and into your boot.
I’m told it’s the funniest sign,
When they’ve shat on you more than one time.
But how can you be angry at that adorable face.
Watching them playing all over the place.
This time waster, this emotional terrorist.
With those brown eyes, you just cannot…resist,
We all have our favourites it has to be said,
Even when they’re ripping the hair from your head.
But through the crazy baboon muddle ,
There’s nothing better than when they settle for a cuddle.
I love the madness of baboon walk.
Where you can sit and have a talk.
Baboons are off climbing the trees,
Then you realise they’ve nicked your hair band, phone or keys.
On the plus side you all look the same,
Hair by Vidal Baboon into a lions mane.
With dirty dusty pee stained clothes,
No makeup and muddy black toes.
But there’s good food and a comfortable bed,
After a hard days work to rest your head.
But in honesty It’s fair to say,
Its worth it.
I wouldn’t have it any other way………

To learn more about volunteering at the monkey rescue centre, check out volunteering with monkeys.

A volunteer spends time with a primate a the monkey rescue centre in South Africa

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