Day 9: Vervet Monkeys
This morning, we packed to leave for the Gisakura Guest House. Before traveling to our next accommodations, we spent the morning at the university. Dr. Rundus set up an exercise for us to do with the monkeys. He explained how we would begin with an “ethogram,” a list of activities of the monkeys. We observed for about 15 minutes, constructing our ethograms: a list that included grooming, playing, feeding, foraging, grouping, lounging, scanning, sitting, vocalizing, dominating,… We each then tried to follow one monkey and watch for one type of general activity (foraging/eating, violent behavior, filial behavior) – an “all-occurring sample.” We learned that these monkeys had group relationships that differed from chimpanzees…that we would see the next day.
When we left the university, we stopped for some shopping at a co-op and then had lunch. I purchased a picture frame made of bark. I will put a photograph of our group in it. We had a long drive (3-4 hours in the later afternoon) in which we stopped once to for everyone to take photos.
Our accommodations for the next 4 nights are quite different from the first 8 nights. (Students, I am switching tenses at times, but again, this is not a formal paper) I am in a large circular cottage/hut, with a cone-shaped thatched roof. There are two bedrooms, a small sitting room, and a bathroom. Four of the students were quite excited with their accommodations – two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a large, lovely sitting room. They were told that the president stays there. It is the only place on this campus that has wi-fi. They have found guests sitting on their front porch.