I am not very nostalgic, and I’m quite bad at remembering and acknowledging anniversaries and birthdays within my personal life (sorry friends and family).
I’m also not the most patient person. I tend to just plow ahead into the future, driven by a feeling of urgency that time is passing and there’s a lot to get done.
Today, however, I was struck with some deep nostalgia thanks to Facebook reminding me of a post I made on my personal page this day twelve years ago.
It simply said, “is anxiously awaiting seven chimpanzees”
(this was back when many people bizarrely worded their Facebook status updates in the third person – it was a thing, it wasn’t just me).
Wow, did that memory ever bring back some feelings.
Here I’ve been plowing ahead in my usual fashion, anxiously preparing for our upcoming first-ever virtual event on Saturday, without taking the time to truly contemplate what the event is celebrating, all that has occurred between that date twelve years ago and now, and all of the people who have been a part of the sanctuary during those years.
This nostalgia drove me to the blog. I posted twice on the blog on this day twelve years ago.
The first post was a brief thanks to those who had attended our housewarming party days prior, an update that founder Keith and J.B. had visited the chimpanzees at Buckshire (J.B. had made a point of telling me that Negra was great and was going to love her new sanctuary home), and a reference to an article that has long since disappeared from the internet.
The second post was the first report from the road! Keith and J.B. were following the truck that was transporting the seven chimpanzees from Pennsylvania and the post included a photo of the truck and trailer that held those seven precious lives and one of Jody in the transport cage on the truck.
In just a few days we will be celebrating twelve years of sanctuary for this ragtag group of seven chimpanzees who have embedded themselves into the hearts of people who have gotten to know them both in person and at a distance through this blog.
We will be celebrating Queen Negra’s 47th birthday. We will be celebrating the addition of the three Californians who joined us less than a year ago.
And we will be celebrating all of forages, naps, play sessions, and adventures that the next year, and even the next twelve years, await these chimpanzees and future chimpanzees who will call Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest home.
I hope you will join this celebration, The Queen’s Brunch, on Saturday at 11:00am PT. You can set a reminder via Facebook right now. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to watch even if you don’t have a Facebook account.
Originally, Saturday’s celebration would have involved a party for the chimpanzees and a separate in-person gala event in Seattle for about 200 human attendees.
With the pandemic, we had to pivot to an online virtual celebration.
Our budgeted fundraising goal for the original in-person gala was $200,000. Not knowing when we pivoted (and still not knowing!) what to expect from a virtual event and what will come of our postponed gala very tentatively scheduled for September 18th, we set the fundraising goal for The Queen’s Brunch at a much more modest $50,000.
Thanks to everyone who has donated and bid on online auction items so far, we are inching towards half of that goal as I type this.
I’m still plowing forward because there’s a lot to be done and a lot at stake.
But I will certainly take a break to celebrate Honey B’s birthday tomorrow! In addition to all of the lovely details that Katelyn wrote about on Monday, did you know that Honey B has a particular nesting style? It’s related to her sarong-wearing that Katelyn mentioned. After creating her nest base, she takes a blanket and wraps her lower half in it, tucking herself in perfectly.
Then she’s ready for sleep
Thanks to Earthrated for the new cozy green blankets.
I will also take some time to think about just how much has transpired since the day that truck pulled up in the driveway with seven chimpanzees who had no idea what was ahead for them.
I will especially think about the last twelve years of sanctuary for the chimpanzee who will always be my queen.
This is one of the very first photos I took of Negra at the sanctuary:
And this is the photo that Anna took of her a few years ago that we’ve been using as part of the logo for The Queen’s Brunch (available in pillow form to buy now).
Thank you, thank you, thank you, to everyone who has been a part of her life and a supporter of the sanctuary at any point during the past twelve years and even before, when it was all just a dream.