The best tour08:23:00
Friday 8th July
Today was our day off and very weird without the 5 who had left. There were only 10 of us and we wanted to go see me before you. We decided to go to the 9.45am showing, and so went pretty much straight away after breakfast.
The film was so good. I loved the cast, and I did cry! Surprisingly I cried at the film and not the book, and part of me preferred the film (but I think I'm a minority).
We went for lunch after the film before returning to the farm. 5 did feeding (myself included) and 5 did house and water. I helped build some beds as we are majorly overbooked for the next few weeks. I also dyed Sandra's hair red, and Hannah dyed hers brown. While we were in the middle of this, a new girl called Izi arrived as she had skipped the Johannesburg orientation. We were all covered in red hair dye so it was probably the worst time for her to arrive, but it was funny.
After we had cleaned up, we showed her around the farm. We had to wait until 9 for dinner for the rest of the new people. There was 12 of them arriving (13 with Izi) and so Felidae is full!
When the arrived we had dinner and all introduced ourselves and stuff. It's crazy how many people we are now.
Apologies now that there are not many photos in this post - I was busy and didn't take many!
Saturday 9th July
I was so excited for today. We had been working all week on the curio shop ready for the opening. We also knew we had a relatively big tour coming.
It was a hectic day.
We had to fix something in the wild lion pride enclosure. This was mad. No one can go in with these guys, but Nicol had to in order to get to the place we had to fix. He had to go from one gate to another and shut it, without any lions getting in his way. This meant trying to make 10 lions stay away from the human entering their space. Not the easiest task in the world. We started with 21 volunteers calling the lions and getting the motorbike and quadbike out to get them to move (they chase those because they sound like a lion). This wasn't really working, and so everyone except 4 of us had to go inside. They then drove a car right up to the other side of the fence and literally called for the wild lions to come. 5 of these lions were saved from canned hunting (has been mentioned but there will be a post on this coming up once I'm home) and so are used to people, but the younger ones are not, and are also some of the naughtiest. They were also hungry. It was hectic.
Eventually Nicol saw his chance, and so Sandra and I opened the first gate, and watched as he slowly moved to the second gate and shut it. It actually got jammed for a second which was terrifying, but no lions noticed, and those that did didn't care enough to move.
Once that was done he could fix the fence quickly. Unfortunately, the hardest part was not over. We had to do it all again, to re-open the second gate. This was not easy because the lions had noticed Nicol in their feeding area, and so were inquisitive. It didn't take as long as the first time, but I feel like it was more tense.
I was SO impressed with all the Burger family during this. They were amazing. It was amazing to watch, and help. No one can ever question their commitment and hard work every single day.
After this some of the new people were a little confused but there wasn't time to dwell; the tour was coming.
I was taking the tour today which was great. I really enjoy taking them because I basically just have to walk around the farm talking about animals - it's a dream come true really.
The tour wasn't too big; it was quite a good size. It was an awesome tour. All the animals, except the foxes who just didn't want to be fed for some reason, were great. The lions cane very close to be fed and we had a great view, Jack was cuddly and so was Mia, Zena was great and the caracals were also. All in all it was a good tour.
The best tours are always the ones where the public are interested and ask questions, because it means we can tell them more. These people were just like that. They were interested in the animals, the volunteer programme, they asked me about myself and why I was here.
Afterwards we took them to the grand opening of the curio shop. Sandra and I were so excited to have people in there buying things.
As people were leaving, a lot of them came up and thanked me. This was lovely! They said how passionate I was and how they could see how much I loved it here, and that they'd had a great time. This really was heartwarming, particularly as one family had been so suspect about coming in the phone, and to change their minds was awesome.
The afternoon was a lot more calm and we went out for dinner too which was lovely. It was a good day.