It’s Christmas break right now and I’ve taken a week off from helping with the farm, which means much needed family time. After a quick internet search last night, we discovered there is a gibbon rescue just south of where we live, so we packed up the truck and took a trip.
We had a great time seeing the preserve. Being from San Diego, home to the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, we have some fairly high expectations for preservations. This Gibbon rescue exceeded them all. The enclosures, while constructed of chain-link fence, seemed to offer a wide variety of entertainment for the gibbons as they swung throughout their home. The kids enjoyed seeing them whoop and rattle the chain-link walls. The highlight for them was seeing the different enclosures be interconnected like a hamster cage and watching the inhabitants race from one open space to another.
The rescue is also home to local animals such as maquacqes monkeys, bintorangs, jackals and one asiatic bear. They grow most of their animal food on the grounds. Behind the enclosures they have a large orchard of banana and papaya trees.
While the Gibbon rescue appears unrelated to the work I do, it actually accomplishes a lot of the same goals we aim toward with the Charis Teaching Farm. Humans are leaving an undeniable footprint on our world. At the farm, the negative footprint is chemical pesticides and herbicides resulting in barren farmland. For the Gibbon reserve, they are helping to care for apes and monkeys that have been stolen from the wild and sold to locals and Westerners who then given them up when their pets get too big. Seeing the work they do was food for my soul. This group of people is pursuing the Good Life in a way different from me. But in the end, the result is the same: restored relationships with each other and the world.