May 03, 2015

Aruba Day 5

Aruba Day 5 -- April 24

This is the day I have been so excited to post about! It went into my Top Days of All Time for sure :) I hope that I have the words to capture it was magical!

This is the fun group that joined us at the sanctuary! Nadene and Jon, and Jason
and Kim. It was so fun to have a group there, it made it even more fun for me. Even better --
it was my birthday and I could think of no better way to spend it!!
We didn't think we'd get to go at first -- the woman at the resort told us that it was
50 minutes away, would cost $45 each way, and that a taxi would take us there but she
couldn't guarantee that a taxi would come back out to get us. Ummm?? Nadene took
charge and talked to a taxi driver out front -- he agreed to come back out for us. We took
two taxis to the sanctuary, which was only 20 minutes away and cost $25. And as promised,
the two drivers returned (right on time even!). We arrived at the sanctuary about 30 minutes before they opened at 9:00 we stood at the gate and visited with the donkeys gathered there! This volunteer above, Sunder, arrived right on time to let us in. He was 18 years old, and a lot of fun!
We entered the sanctuary, and the donkeys were everywhere! At this location, there are 59 donkeys. They have a second location with over 100, but this is their main sanctuary. They range in age from 2 years to 49 years! Sunder took us into the pen and showed us how to feed them their hay and their pellets. Those donkeys love to EAT! They were so excited! The hay went in the top metal container, and the pellets were poured into the trough below. These were on three sides of the pen, and the donkeys gathered around to dine.
All lined up for breakfast!
Chris jumped in and distributed pellets!
Here I am, putting out some hay!
This was the donkey's water hole...a rectangle cement bowl, and they just gathered
around. They were actually very dainty drinkers. In the background here, you can see all
the cacti. Those tall skinny things were everywhere on the island.
This is Tio, the oldest donkey at 49 years. He was a bit crusty! He didn't
enjoy the petting, but he sure did like to be fed!
Aruba Donkey Sanctuary : I adopted a donkey in Aruba!
I informed the female volunteer that I wanted to adopt a donkey for a year. To do this,
you pay one lump sum, and it helps with feed and medication for the year. In doing so, I
received a tshirt, a certificate of adoption, and a feature on their website! I checked them all out, and finally decided that this little brown donkey was the one that I liked best. She is the youngest donkey there, at 2 years. Her name is Chula -- her mom, Coco, came to the sanctuary, and then they realized that she was pregnant. She had Chula 13 months later, so the sanctuary is all that Chula has ever known. She paused briefly for a photo but wanted to get right back next to her mom.
Chula is on the left, her mom Coco is on the right...they were always side by side.
Toward the end of our time there, I noticed that Chula and Coco were off by themselves.
I headed over to them to get some photos, and sat down on an empty water trough. I took a
few pics and then noticed that they were walking toward me. Chula then walked up the steps to come be by my side, while her mom stayed below. Here she is rounding the corner to come up.
She was very affectionate! She pushed up against me and was almost in my lap!
I pet her and loved on her for a good 15 minutes. She kept looking at me sideways
and turning around to get pet on each side. I was in absolute heaven!!!!
It was just me and Chula and we bonded.
She was so close that I was able to get some great close ups :) She had the sweetest spirit.
The bonding, captured from the patio...this 15 minute time frame with Chula will
always be one of my most favorite memories. My heart was so full!
So sweet!
This is the fun tshirt that I received for adopting Chula! And the little donkey
soap was a gift from Nadene -- she is the sweetest!
Our group with the volunteers and a few donkeys right before we left the sanctuary!
These friends of mine are amazing...they actually volunteered at the sanctuary too! The
girls sorted tshirts and filled treat bags for them, because a tour bus was coming soon. And
the boys scooped poop!! :) Sorry about that boys, I didn't expect that! Ha ha! They did
get a free beer, so I think we'll call it even! It was a big help to the sanctuary, and
allowed me to spend time with the donkeys!
Today, May 2, my feature is up on the sanctuary website!!! Me and Chula!
When we returned to the resort, we had lunch with our sanctuary group and then relaxed
for the rest of the day. This is Chris and I at the pool...ahhhh! And those green
wrist bands...oh they were incredible! We paid for nothing!
The sunset on my birthday was sooooo beautiful!
That evening, we had the FDLIC award ceremony and a very nice buffet dinner...and I wore my new StitchFix maxi dress! It was a nice "last evening" to our trip.
After dinner and a birthday drink (mojito) with our friends, we headed up to our room to pack our bags...we'd be leaving the next morning at 10:30 am for the airport...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a lovely b-day! Love the pics. They capture the pure bliss of your day. Love the eye pic. PTS

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