In just under a month, I'll be celebrating my 32nd birthday! It seems like just yesterday I was making the journey to Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest to celebrate my 30th birthday, volunteering alongside the staff, and giving something back to The Cle Elum Seven. It's no secret these incredible chimps have stolen my heart and soul. They are practically all I can talk about! Let's just say Negra, Jody, Foxie, Annie, Jamie, Missy, and Burrito are practically on par with my Bovines these days. I have no shame in chatting up anyone about these incredible souls.
You can imagine my delight this May when I was able to share this joy amongst some of my dearest friends. Celeste, Mary, Roni, and I were able to visit the lovelies at the sanctuary, and enjoy their afternoon lunch party with them, in addition to seeing them on the hill for the first time in real life! When I was visiting for my 30th birthday, finishing touches were still being done to Young's Hill. I still can not view the video of them going outside for the first time without crying. If you haven't seen the video, please do so. You're heart with thank me.
This previous trip was also a great chance for me to see the fence post plaque that I donated for a few years ago, during a fundraiser to help raise the fencing! I dedicated it to my best friend Fritz.. It says " Fritz Steer, You made my life priceless. You are my soul". His plaque is on a post that is at the top of the hill, looking downward at the sanctuary. It was the only post to suffer damage from the fire last year, but it stood strong. I like to believe Fritzy was there looking out for the lovelies during that frightening time, and I really love that such a special memory of mine is in such a special place. When you put positive energy into a space, it makes it all the more lovely.
This past trip was also great to see the chimpanzees again, see how much they've grow in the two years since their hill was completed, and it was time to party for The Seven! We had such an amazing time at the Outside The Box Gala Auction, and even came home with a few prizes of our own. Of course, seeing the chimps on their hill, and seeing Negra's fabulous cabin in person, was also a real treat.
This was a huge year for The Cle Elum Seven. Not only was this their five year anniversary in sanctuary, but it was Queen Negra's 40th Birthday! Can you believe she lived in a tiny cage in a laboratory for 35 years. That's longer than I have been alive. With all the trials and challenges that we humans face in our lives, I can't imagine how Negra survived all those years living in what is essentially prison for a crime she never committed. I encourage those of you who are unaware of the plight of captive and free-living chimps to learn more about what you can do to help. Or ask me! I'll be happy to direct you to research and knowledge on these issues.
Many of you are aware that my little sister Amanda and I share the same birthday, four years apart! What you probably don't know is that Foxie and Missy share August birthdays with me! Foxie was born on August 8th, and Missy celebrates her honorary birthday (meaning her actual birthday is sadly unknown) on August 23rd!
So I thought this year it would be really fun to celebrate with two of the most fun girls I know! If you know anything about the chimps at CSNW, you know that Foxie is in love with a few things.. Troll Dolls, Dora the Explorer, and playing with her caregivers! (Protected play only, the caregivers do not interact inside the enclosures, only outside without intruding upon the chimps) And MIssy, she's in love with life and loves to RUN! Missy is always running somewhere! I think Foxie is pretty silly and delightful.. and when I think of Missy the song 'Girls just Wanna have Fun' comes to mind. They are both such delightful ladies and I encourage you to read the blog and get to know them better.
I love birthdays. It's no secret. My sister Amanda and I celebrate our half birthdays for fun, and I celebrate animal birthdays as much as I can. So what better way to really make this birthday special than to share it with two girls I love very much!
This year has been full of many challenges for me personally. I never thought I'd see the day that I moved away from my bovine friends. So help make this birthday extra special by helping me help my chimp friends!
I'd love to be able to donate some mad money for the girls, and even a little extra for the other sanctuary residents. Those troll dolls and peanuts (Negra's favorite) don't buy themselves! If you would like to donate an item from the wish list, here is that link!
Otherwise, skip those vegan donuts you were planning on getting tomorrow and send that cash to the chimps instead! If I can't work for Boss Lady Jamie professionally, you best believe I'm still going to work for them in any way I can!
With loads of love to all of you, Molly