Sunday, September 7, 2008

Thank you for a great summer

Hi folks - so here we are at September 7, 2008. Hope you had a great summer...The Vegetarian Food Fair is wrapping up, and the colours of the leaves are changing. As we look back over this summer, it has been tremendous for the residents at the sanctuary. Thank you to everyone who made this possible!

Back in May, Sherri, Kim and I sat down to plan out what the summer could look like, including the idea of the first Open House of Story Book Farm. At the time, it seemed a bit daunting - so many things to do - Woofstock, Dog Days of Scugog, volunteer days, the Open House, and then the Baseball tournament and the Veg Food Fair - phew! So many wonderful things happened during each of these events, for example, the Dog Days of Scugog brought the wonderful Val into the lives of the primates. She has been an awesome volunteer and spent her vacation days helping us getting prepared for the Open House. We could not have done it without her!

The Open House was such a success - we had over 150 visitors to the farm, including the crew of CBC Newsworld - who filmed for 90 minutes in the morning and did a great, factual story entitled "Unwanted Exotics" in the national broadcast. Rob Laidlaw of Zoocheck was also interviewed, citing the lax laws and how it is easier to own a tiger or python, than it is to get a license to drive a cab or run a hot-dog stand. We will be posting the video of the broadcast on our site soon.

As you know, we had rain almost every day, so the thought of a rain-soaked day was possible, but we had fortune smile on us and it was a beautiful sunny day. As I think back on that day, our amazing crew of volunteers is the foremost thing on my mind - so many to thank including: Laura, Sarah, Taylor, Kim, Rob, Malcolm, Cindy, Val, Lucy, Lesley, Dan, Sue and her lovely "lemonade girls", Devon, Chris, Stacey, Jess, LJ, Tracey, Jenn, Lisa, Lesley and Cam, and the whole crew who baked cookies, donated goods and helped in so many ways. We especially want to thank our "web guys" Ken and James. One of the visitors asked how we were able to get so many volunteers to help - for this we are so grateful.

It was amazing to me to see how respectful everyone was of the residents - we had small groups, and requested no talking in the barn to keep things quiet - everyone did so and was so moved by "the folks". George, Mr. Jenkins, Pierre, Razzle, Kye and Kizmet really loved the visits - Mr. Jenkins was watching down to the pasture all the time, watching the activity. Pablo and Amigo, the little marmosets just loved seeing all the new faces, running through the chutes above, checking things out. Sweet Pea was so great too. It was so important that people understand what the monkeys have been through and how they can help.

Thanks to Larry for organizing the baseball tournament - we had eight teams participate, with people coming as far away as Kingston to join. The weather held up and it was a great day too!

In the midst of all of this, we have the privilege of watching the blossoming friendship between Sweet Pea and Violet. As Kim blogged earlier, we saw the first encounters with Violet going into Pea's area. As the summer progressed, it became a regular thing, with Violet coming in to visit Pea, and Pea grooming her and carrying her as she would a baby baboon. Last Saturday, Pea carried Violet over to the water bucket and placed her up on the ledge as if to show her where the water was! Violet stayed with her a long time, and stood up against Pea's face and pushed her kitten cheek into Pea's cheek - it was so moving! In this photo, you can see Pea grooming Violet as she is sleeping. We are so thrilled that Violet and Sweet Pea have each other and have formed this very special bond. As Violet grows, we are planning to make a little "cat door" into Sweet Pea's area so she can come and go.

Thank you again to all the people who have made this summer a memorable one - Laura for coming up so often; Sarah helping with outreach; Kim with husbandry skills; Val and Cindy doing carpentry work; Leslie and Cam; Sue - raising money at her garage sale; Larry helping organizing; and the merchants and vendors who donated goods - to everyone - with thank you so much! At most of all, I want to thank Sherri and Leonard for their compassion, determination and strength to put up with all of us :), and to daily provide an example of how 'everyday' people can save the world, maybe not the whole world, but for each individual - their whole world. Thank you for allowing us to be part of this!


candace & nux said...

i found you guys in a pamphlet, and just wanted to say that i think the world of you for all the hard work and compassion you bestow upon those furry little creatures:)
-cheers, candace

Rachelle Hansen said...

Thanks so much Candace for your support and for following the blog!