Thanks once again for all the support and good wishes. We are feeling the love! Today was a busy day at the sanctuary – I’m excited to say that we have power! It wasn’t clear how long power was going to take (some estimates were that it would be several weeks) but we’re up and running. Great news there. We’re still working on a water issue (likely chemical contamination from water lines that were incinerated/melted in the fire) but the chimps are loving their gatorade and water bottles.
We’re also still fighting flare-ups on the property and our neighbors’ properties. JB and Diana (who live on the property and are back in the residence now that it’s been temporarily repaired) were awakened at 3am by their dog Honey B, who noticed a small fire up the hill on our neighbor’s property. JB, Diana, and a team of firefighters from Prosser put the fire out. Again, my heroes. Yesterday afternoon and again this afternoon, we fought a flare-up near the driveway of our property. Volunteers Pam and Connie got more than they bargained for but flew into action helping JB, Diana, Jackie and me put it out. I’ll say again that the worst is behind us and the chimps are safe, but we’re not out of the figurative woods yet. My heart was racing as I was wrestling with the big water jugs, and once again I am reminded of the incredible courage it took to weather the night on Monday.
We’ve put flare-up monitoring protocols in place to make sure we stay on top of these small fires, and we’ve had good advice from experts.
On a brighter note, when we were sure that the flare-up this afternoon was under control, i was walking up to the chimp house (JB and Diana were still monitoring and Pam, Connie and Jackie were refilling the water jugs and loading up the gator) I saw that the chimps were huddled in the greenhouse watching very closely. I thought to myself that I’d better go say hi and let them know everyone was ok. Jody came right over and gave me a breathy pant and requested a kiss on the back of my wrist. I looked up at her and made eye contact and felt pretty emotional about all the chimps have seen and experienced in the past few days.
Jody finished her kiss and turned away and then the greenhouse literally burst into play. There was laughing, wrestling, chasing galore. I have no idea if they were waiting for the “all clear” before getting back to their business (of playing) or if it was totally random or unrelated, but I have to say that a bunch of joyful happy chimps was exactly what I needed to see at that moment. What amazing, resilient survivors they are, in so many senses of the word.