The above photo is next week’s destination, The Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada. My improv* instructor/friend/client/all-around-awesome-lady invited me along to help with her awesome kiddo while she participates in a short-term artist-in-residence program, Concert as Theatre. So, while not an invited artist, I do get amateur peek-a-boo privileges and will be immersed in this phenomenal artist community for over a week. So during ‘working’ hours and my off hours, I will be ingesting rehearsed and exploratory music performances, benefitting from the Centre’s amazing amenities, exploring the immense landscape (which I briefly attempted last year, albeit in the opposite season), and getting some personal music, writing and arting time (new song in progress, by the way, working to get it recorded before I hit the road). I might even attempt to ski, though I predict being swiftly surpassed in skill by my 5-year-old cohort.
The drive should be lovely and educational (apparently I’m in for warp-speed action theater schooling). My tried-and-true, paprika-hued road beast (the Subaru) is mechanically sound and ready for the potentially treacherous terrain. My work clients are, as usual, graciously flexible and I am, as usual, immensely grateful.
After I return to Portland, I’ll be moving out of my home and bopping around here and there. It will be strange. I think I’m ready. Then again, I am the go-to lady for two of my dear, pregnant friends. Regardless, things will happen and I will be present.
I am just a human, trying always.
*(After a group vocal improvisation at my last session, everyone simultaneously agreed that we should record some of them. I readily offered to provide my mic setup, so this may happen soonish, which is extremely exciting and will be sure to be the most absurd, beautiful soundtrack to…anything. Improv has drastically helped my creative, inner, social and overall life. It warrants a blog all its own. In time.)
In primate news, get ready for much more monkey (and ape) business to be shared here. Starting….NOW.
I’ve recently started working with the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA). This volunteer and networking opportunity came about quickly and I’m very exited to be helping with their website content and planning for some collaboration with their member sanctuaries. So, in the further future (5 months-ish), West Africa is happening, for which I am currently making preliminary preparations and doing research daily. In addition to visiting several primate sanctuaries in the region, I will be volunteering with a few in Cameroon doing husbandry and assisting with a community education initiative.
As yet, I’m unsure of the duration of my stay there as I am planning everything as loosely as possible. Travel around West Africa does not allow for much of a strict timetable, which is just as well for me. Most of the planning is for things that need to get done here in the US like immunizations and visa applications and the inescapable finance front. Fun! For those who don’t know, I’m much more content working in places where the animal to human ratio is quite high. I have had my time of hot showers, clean clothes and posh food and am ready to go back to doing filthy, physically and mentally demanding, rewarding work, only with new species.
I take my work seriously.
I miss this work very, very, very much.
And hanging out with (caring for) these guys.
The music of West Africa, highly inspired by jazz and blues, also beckons me. I look forward to discovering as much of it as I can.
Until next time, please do share any travel and/or primate-related experiences. C’mon, Oxford MSc peoples…you know you remember me: