March 27, 2011

New Volunteer Lodging at CARES' Jungle Facility!

Readers of this blog are well aware of our April “Vets Abroad”* trip!  Recently I wrote about what our volunteers can expect to eat.  Today I am writing about their accommodations!!

Volunteers and I have always squeezed in together in my cozy little house at our jungle refuge.  The house is three bedrooms and three baths and sleeps up to 7 people.  Read my prior blog about volunteer lodging!  Our April group of vets have a wonderful surprise in store for them!

In December 2010 we embarked on the ambitious project of expanding and maintaining our jungle facility.  We were prompted by CGI’s generous donation to build a new kennel and play area for puppies and small dogs. 

Mid-construction of volunteer house
Maintenance issues were also a concern.  Ants had eaten through the wires of most electrical outlets in my home (we have a generator – there is no electricity nearby).  Few electric fans could function without an outlet, especially when people needed to recharge their cameras, etc.  The generator only runs a few hours a day, so we had to undo the ant damage!!  Finally, our multi-purpose building, the Maloca, needed new roofing, as did many areas of the shelter.

View from living area.
In anticipation of expanding our Vets Abroad program, we built new housing just for volunteers.  I know they will be disappointed not to squeeze together on my sofa in my home’s tiny “living area,” but now they will have plenty of space and high quality construction (I wish I could live there!).  The space, like my home, is double screened in with mesh instead for air flow.  The sleeping area is part of one large room with bunk beds and separated by curtains (think, hospital style).  Each area has its own screened in window for ventilation and a built in area for personal items.

Bathroom & showers near completion.
We moved an under-utilized television from the clinic to the volunteer house, and moved my humble furniture there as well (I may not have a place to sit unless I hang with the volunteers.  I hope I’ll be welcome! There is no cable, of course, but I have assembled a small DVD collection over the years and any volunteers that want to bring and donate a favorite movie, well that would be great!  Sometimes at night, which begins very early, “Twenty Questions” and reading in low light becomes tedious, so it is fun to have a movie night with Marlene’s delicious “pop-pop.”   We also maintain a book-trade shelf!

The kitchen and dining will remain in my house for now.  But nobody will get wet if it’s raining, as we have finally erected covered walkways between the different buildings!

I don't have final pictures yet, and I imagine we'll still be fixing it up to the last minute!  Don't'll be finished JUST IN TIME!
Walkways from my house.  Volunteers on the left, dog shelter on the right.

Please listen to my guest spot from Peru on Thursday, March 31 at 6:30 PM EST.  Simply go to at the mentioned time.
coming Show: 3/31/2011 6:30 PM    
Host Name:TPPCTV
Show Name:

Pets Teach Us So Much Radio #13 Pet Report Live from the Amazon

Length:1 hr


  1. I look forward to the comfy looking new accommodation. Do we have internet access?

  2. Thank you Pup Fan! Patrick, we do not have Internet access in the jungle. At the office in town we have wifi and a nearby Internet cafe. At some of the jungle lodging they have wifi via satellite.

    At the end of each work day, before heading home by boat, you will have a chance to use our wifi at the office. I hope you plan to bring your laptop so you can work at night in the jungle and upload the next day when internet is available.

    Finally, mornings begin very early, but if, as a group, we decide to leave for the city even ealier, you can be assured of dedicated time for Internet use before the Peruvian team arrives and we start setting up for the day's mobile clinic.


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