After a long flight, we finally arrived at the airport of Malawi. (I am not travelling alone, nope. A friend of mine is joining me, she is a fellow student and wants to get more experience with wildlife).
A taxi driver was waiting for us at the airport, he brought us straight to the center. On the way to the center, the feeling of being in Africa finally kicked in. The typical burned smell of charcoal, the people walking beside the road, the red color of the ground, yes this is Africa.
But of course, you need to get used to everything at the beginning. So when we arrived at the center we unpacked our stuff and picked a bed in the volunteer house. I was wondering if all the things I brought with me were still alive. There was no smell of garlic coming out of the bag and after checking everything, they all seemed to be doing alright.
As always in a center like this, plans get changed all the time. So before I got a tour in the center and got to know all the animals I needed to assist the vet with an operation on his tail. Chimpie the baboon got a nasty cut in the middle of his tail and the lower end was starting to look a bit strange. After darting the animal, the surgery started in the enclosure where he would stay to recover. So no fancy room, with medical equipment, electrical heating systems and pumps. No, just hardcore: on the floor on a wooden plank, flies all over the place, on your knees and other weird positions….checking the vitals of Chimpie every 5 minutes and trying to keep its body temperature high enough with sachets of hot water and some towels. Adventurous…definitely…. And after one and half hour the procedure was finished. I did not get to see Chimpie getting on his feet again, since I needed to be with a baby Duiker, but I was told he is doing just fine.
Later we finally got a tour and I immediately spotted some potential candidates for my research. A little vervet monkey who is traumatized by people beating him up, a baby Duiker with some food issues and a lion who is very lonely…..