Education Opinion

The End of the Monkey Tale

By Barbara Purn — July 16, 2006 2 min read
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We have come to the end of the expedition and it is quite sad. We have become quite close not only to each other but the monkeys. Yesterday afternoon we had to say ‘goodbye’ to them and wish them well. Maurice, came out, I’m sure, to say ‘goodbye’ to me as well and I think did as well.

After work we had a farewell dinner in a nice restaurant in Watamu. There were 14 of us all together, the 7 teachers, Steffen and Geoffrey the Principal Investigators, our 4 research assistants, and the parasite man—who does the lab work on the samples we bring in. It took 3 hours from arriving to leaving, but we had a very fun time. We decided to give Steffen a poster of the Top Ten Reasons we were late to work—just silly excuses that got us roaring with laughter. We also did a pretend “Follow” on him like he was a monkey. He was a very good sport and enjoyed the roasting.

Today we stayed at the guesthouse, A Rocha, and did data entry. We began to enter on computers all the information we had gathered on the follows, adding up all the times we saw a monkey standing, feeding, moving, etc. There will need to be many more hours of data work after we leave to put in all we got.

We had our last lunch and said goodbyes with tears in our eyes, promising to email and send photos (I collected over 250!) We plan to have a reunion in Colorado in January when Geoffrey begins teaching at a university there.

I am just now dropped off at a very fancy hotel. Hemingways, a very British style hotel, for a one night stay before I spend the next two days and nights in airports and planes. I hoped to swim and maybe snorkel but it is pouring rain at this moment…I’m actually just content to have some quiet, down time. Sharing a room for 10 days with two ‘strangers/now friends’ is a bit wearing. I’ll indulge in Tea at 4:00, dinner at 7:30 and breakfast tomorrow before I leave for the airport.

I miss family, friends and Seattle but I had such an absolutely fabulous time and experience that I just feel so lucky. The people I was with are just great—able to tough it out and be positive with a sense of humor. We worked very hard but felt appreciated. What more could I ask for?

I have some great ideas for bringing back my travels into the classroom. Also, I am hoping to have a great contact for an outreach service project for elementary students here. Schooling is free for elementary students, but they must provide their own uniforms and supplies. I am hoping to be able to find a school that our school, Villa Academy, might be able to help. We could buy uniforms for those student who can’t afford it, and therefore wouldn’t be able to attend school. I am excited about the possibility and hope it can work out.

This is my last entry before arriving home. I have some photos I’ll download at that point, but it’s too time consuming and expensive to do here. Thank you for following my blog!

The opinions expressed in My Summer in Kenya are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.