Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gone, recovered, and Guan again.

First things first. A resounding "Well done" to the ladies of the Belmopan International Women's Group who managed to claw in a gratifyingly large amount of money from their Annual Dinner Dance last week. This announcement also gives me cause to post a gratuitous photo in what had the potential to be a somewhat wordy blog. It's our George Price Center Cruise Ship. Aren't we brilliant?

Anyway, I had another one of these defining moments the other day. Having used mine an awful lot in conjunction with the aforementioned event, I realised that of everything I would miss when the lights went out for the last time on this overburdened planet of ours, it would be my computer. You can live without ice in your G&T, you can find other ways to make coffee, you can make music with pots and pans and a bit of cat-gut, you can even put up with bumping into door frames when you stagger around looking for the bathroom in the middle of the night. But electricity was invented for computers. Not the busy-body things that make life difficult – like the ones that stop you ordering a BLT without the bacon because there’s “no button on the register for that, madam” or the one that insists you fill in your zip-code when you’ve already told it you don’t live in the USA. What I mean is MY computer. My own personal magician that checks my spelling and makes my handwriting legible. The one that does sums for me, that keeps me in touch with my relatives and reminds me when it’s their birthday. The one to which I go running when I have a disagreement about which Sheen was in Loaded Weapon or what year Churchill was born – you know the sort of really gripping stuff that used to keep us awake at night before the birth of the Internet. Point being, I was just finishing my silent prayers of gratitude to the great god Pentium, when the bloody thing crashed on me. How ungrateful can you get. Actually – a crash would have been less heart stopping – what I actually got, as I reached for one of my thousands of precious photographs to insert into my equally precious website was a very cute message telling me that my C drive and all who sail in her was gone forever. Argh.
24 hours later, my precious Jerry managed to retrieve said drive and contents. I have spent the last 3 days christening the external drive I have had for 2 years and never actually bothered to use. Unfortunately, that's not behaving either: probably sulking over being ignored for 2 years. Lesson learned, and an abrupt end to unconditional love for computers, I might add.

So what about parrots? Not a lot, actually. We’re still waiting for the legbands and until we get them, all plans are on hold. Chili’s doing well but is at that unfortunate stage where 6 feathers are almost enough to fly with… but not quite. I can see me chasing around with a ladder before very long.

Speaking of ladders, Jerry spend most of Saturday up one trying to retrieve a lost monkey. A male howler had wandered off course and ended up at the mercy of a group of adolescent boys and a pile of stones. What is it about stones here? Dogs iguanas, owls, monkeys, other kids…? When I was growing up I must have heard ‘don’t throw stones, you’ll have somebody’s eye out’ about a million times (not from my mother of course – I was a perfect child). But here I see grown adults stoop to pick up a handful of stones as a Pavlov’s response to simply seeing a dog in the street. I mean, really, do that many people get bitten? Do that many monkeys leap from the safety of a tree to attack a human? Could an iguana care less who’s on the ground below them?
But how do you break that cycle? Do you educate the adults or the children? One is almost a lost cause, and the other you’re basically telling them their parents have irrational thoughts about their own safety. Maybe just a catchy poster campaign with a mother in curlers yelling “don’t throw stones, you’ll have somebody’s eye out” stuck on a million lamp-posts??
Anyhow, the monkey has spent a happy few days recuperating at the zoo and as I type is being released back to his troup with a couple of new scars and a story to tell. Hurrah for the Belize Wildlife Emergency Response Team. (BWERT) Sounds like the noise I used to make after a particularly good Friday night out.

Penelope (purpurascens) The Guan has unfortunately become our first ‘unreleasable' sanctuary bird. Ordinarily we would do our utmost to release birds back to their natural habitat, but Penelope became tame within 2 seconds of arrival - as we now know Guan’s are programmed to do. Everyone warned us that Guans are a problem. In fact everyone we know who have wild populations around, have at some stage needed to raise one, and without exception have all refused to take her on. “A guan? No fear. Never again”. Or less polite words to that effect.
With Forestry Department approval, we let her out of her aviary prison and it took her about half an hour for her to find the best seat on the verandah and another 10 minutes to work out which was the most effective window to knock on for warm offerings from the kitchen. She now has several new names: Penny the Elephant, That Bloody Bird, Poopy-Plop Monster… okay, we can’t say we weren’t warned. Guan for Christmas, anyone…?

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