Nathan needs an assistant

by Luke, in Peru
24th October, 2009

Marc the producer had to sort things out with a boat this morning so Simon, Molly, Nathan (aka Lupe) and I were left to our own devices to sort out the days events. After a humbling lesson in strength whereby a Peruvian boatman lifted my 40kg bag onto his shoulder with one hand, we headed over to an animal orphanage run by Gudren – an immensley likeable but slightly crazy Austrian. Gudren started out by setting up a butterfly farm with the idea of exporting rare and exotic butterflies around the world. Due to some slightly detailed Peruvian export legislation, this didn’t quite pan out as expected so with an inate love of animals and the Amazon, Gudren took it up on herself to take in the animals rescued from the illegal trade in endangered and exotic animals. She releases as many as she can back into the wild and her home is an idyllic cluster of wooden buildings, set amongst towering trees and thick Amazon vegetation. A large variety of rescued monkeys – many endangered species and all exotically coloured, swooped overhead as we got the grand tour and introductions to some of the more familar residents.
It was a fantastic day and I´m sold on the great work Gudren does. She just cracks on with little outside support and is utterly fearless in her defence of the animals. I did a couple of ops to help out – removed a mass from a Macaws wing and extracted a couple of teeth from a monkey – which went well. The Macaw was a handful and it gave Gudren a nasty bite which she took without complaint (last year one of the Macaws fell into her lake and was attacked by the resident 2m caimans – Gudren jumped in to rescue it regardless of the danger – so not a lot phases her).
The really big deal about today though, wasn´t the giant anteater, the jaguar or treating the wound on the tapir – but the fact that Nathan declared he needed an assistant. Suddenly he had been promoted from soundman to director/producer and it was a lot of work for him. Especially because he had to carry a lot of stuff as well. Simon and I promised to petition Marc for his cause so fingers crossed…

There is going to be some radio silence for awhile as we are about to hit the waters for a few days and visit some communities upstream – will update in a little while.

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