Braying for a safe return. Aruba # another one!

Who nose?! -See what I did there?-

Around ten minutes south of the sanctuary, under construction and eight times the size of the one we have now, a new sanctuary we lovingly refer to as donkey prison begins to take shape with a roof placed over the large storage containers and a little juggling around of the perimeter fence.

The forty eight donks residing here are a little less passive to human interaction as they only see people when a volunteer comes to feed and clean the area. They’re a little more boisterous but not so bad, but you definitely don’t want to go dropping your soap in this place!

I leapt the fence wishing to avoid a repeat performance of last time when I almost got trampled by two donks intent on escape. SNAP went the brush handle as he went through my pitiful attempt at blocking his path. An hour of running my ass off quite literally –another donkey/ass joke- before I managed to get both of them in and I can say I’ve learned my lesson. Nothing escapes these donkeys apart from themselves when given half a chance!

So I jump the fence and make my way to clean and refill the water perused by a mob of wild donkeys wondering what in the hell I’m all about. Why have you not fed us first and then dealt with the water? High time this hairy little human got told!

A shadow descends as Tiny approaches in the form of a trot. I see it coming but think he’s just saying hi.


“AAAHHH”! I turn my head to find my shoulder still in his mouth. “AAAAAHHHH”! I repeat in a more animated fashion to display the dislike of my shoulders current location.

Put in my place by a donkey called Tiny I almost Fosbury flop my way back over that fence with todays lesson freshly imbedded on my skin. Feed or be food!

Knowing that my time here is coming to an end and I have to leave this all behind is really killing me a little. Not once have I took for granted the fact that this just might well be the best job I will ever have and as small as the island is, it is a place I have taken to my heart and enjoyed immensely.

Everything from the brutal daily cycle that keeps me in shape and my own personal space of which I enjoy both at work and at home to the fondness I have for the other volunteers during the changeover at the sanctuary. The cheerful and effervescent crowd I’ve gotten to know at Arikok National Park, an amazing host family and of course a herd of donkeys that accepted me as one of their own!

A farewell party is put together for me at Eagle beach bringing together friends from both sides of my time here and I really am surprised at the number of faces gathered from The Sanctuary and Arikok.

I would later feel a little guilty for not making enough effort to speak with everyone there a little more but I have plonked my butt down on a comfy seat and I’m enjoying the company of two of the most attractive women in Aruba. I saw pictures, no doubt airbrushed and spruced up of Miss Aruba and she isn’t half as good looking as either of these girls!

Miss Aruba, if you’re reading then prove me wrong AND ANSWER YOUR FUCKING MAIL! Just joking. Was one wee email suggesting that she visit our sanctuary. Can’t hurt to try –unless she has a big boyfriend-!

So how, after spending the last six months of my life working on a donkey sanctuary in the tropical desert island of Aruba, do I even begin relate my story in a way that can really convey to the reader just how great this, life’s latest chapter to which there are not nearly enough word of grandeur, has been?

Well, I think that before I commence with that little riddle, I’d better put more thought into the latest addition of my CV as Ass Master might just give out the wrong impression!



DSC00790wee donk


11 thoughts on “Braying for a safe return. Aruba # another one!

    1. Oh, but another DID get me in my special litt..erm, BIG place! A donkey called Boam boam got exited over a tourists bag of carrots and booted me in the willy. Actually it was more of a flick and I was pretty lucky it wasn’t any harder! However, a time spent farming near Bologna earned me a proper whack to The General (!) from a bull. I should hate animals by now.. Brazil next to be a shepherd on a goat farm for a while. Good to escape from it all and do something completely different!

  1. Andy, I’ve enjoyed your donk tales. If the donk’s nose was green in your top photo, it would look like Kermit the Frog peeking over your shoulder.
    Best of luck wherever you go and whatever you do.

    1. Thank you, I’m getting things together for jetting off to Brazil where I’ll work on a few farms 🙂 I’ll write about it when I get back and hopefully have a few new funny animal adventures to share. Wish you all the best for 2014 x

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