It's A Small World . . .
That probably conjured up imagine of floating in a small boat with not so comfortable seats through a badly designed ride at Disney World, with the music at a nerve grating sound and hearing the commentary of some know it all in the boat right behind you. BUT . . . we weren't at Disney World.
When planning for our trip to Mexico we were looking for stuff we haven't done before. We have zip lined, swam with whale sharks, snorkeled every inch of the side of Mexico, ate in a cave, deep sea fished - multiple times, seen Chichen Itza, swam with Dolphins, a Walrus, Manatees and Sting rays. Something new to us popped up. It was a hands on experience with spider monkeys.
Attempting to book this thing was tough. There are only 16 spots and only one day it was being hosted while we would be in Mexico. Thankfully we got the last 4 spot and a 12:30pm time frame.
We loaded the car with our oldest son, my father-in-law, my husband and myself . . . and off we went. I go on these "experiences" not because I want to experience it . . . them . . . whatever it is. It is because I am the photographer. I document everything through the lens of my camera.
We leave the others at the house. A little over an hour later we pull onto the property. It is down near Akmal close to the border of Mexico and Belize. We turn West which is the complete opposite way of the beach. So no beautiful blue water, no sand under your feet and no breeze. We are talking jungle. I am hard pressed to see anything but a packed dirt road with many large holes in it and dense jungle.
After stay right here . . . curve left there . . . spot the green fence . . . count 5 poles . . . look right . . . look left . . . hokey pokey . . . .we spot the drive up. We have arrived!!! We parked and reluctantly got out of the car. I was dreading the monkeys. The smell . . . the dirt . . . them touching you . . . them putting their ass on you . . . I dreaded it all. As we were walking up to the house you can hear another group having their encounter.
My husband enters what I assumed was an office and closes the door. He then exits another door immediately to his left and heads up the stairs. I do the same. About the time I entered, by the way . . . not an office . . . but their house . . . their two pit bulls stand up. One starts to make his way towards me. I quickly exit the side door and shut it behind me. There my father-in-law stands with the two pit bulls. He too gets out. We don't go back that way . . .
We get to the next landing and see an enclosure. Probably 6' X 6'. There are 8 people sitting with their legs straight out. There is a man in the enclosure standing up and a woman on the outside. She asks us if we wouldn't mind going back down until the first group finishes.
We do . . . but not through the house! We all head over to another spider monkey enclosure. There is one male monkey going wild. He is picking up the boards placed on the bottom of his wire cage bridge suspended up off the ground. The boards are there for him to walk on. And he is ripping this stuff up. I immediately think "this is not a good idea." He is none too happy! There are other male monkeys - all seem to be happy. They swing with their tale from one ball to another. They are really skilled at using the tale. It is like another arm.
The man that was in the upstairs enclosure previously, approached. My husband goes to greet him with a hand shake. They monkeys go crazy. Start chanting. I said to my father-in-law . . . "did you see that? As soon as he arrives they went crazy. That must mean he treats them badly. So glad we can perpetuate this." He agrees, they must not be kind to these animals.
We were asked to come back up the stairs to start our encounter. The woman who runs it is called Heidi. She asks me "so you are from Dallas", in a very strong Germany accent.. . . "what part do you live in." I responded with "yes . . . North Dallas." She doesn't say much more, I find it kinda odd. But most of the people who do business like this like to know where their clients are coming from.
Not 5 minutes later she says to my husband, "oh, you are with . . ." and she says my husband's law firm. He said yes, thinking she had gotten it off one of his emails. Most places like this are worried about attorney's especially when it come to liability. She then says, "How is Blake." We aren't sure we heard her correctly. Did she really just ask about his law partner? How could she know him much less call him by his first name?
OK . . . so now there is this woman . . .here in the middle of the jungle . . . with a very strong Germany accent . . . who is probably 20+ years older than we are . . . who rescues spider monkeys from the hotels and facilities that don't take care of them properly. How could she know so much? She isn't asking anyone else about their city or husband's profession or people the know. Why would this woman who works in the field of rescued spider monkeys know about Dallas and is she seriously asking about the legal partner from Dallas.
It seems approximately 12 years ago she lived in a nice neighborhood within the city of Dallas called Greenway Park. It is filled with homes, large and small, that all have small yards but share a green way. In fact, her kids had grown up in that neighborhood.
Not only did Heidi, the Spider Monkey Sanctuary owner, know my husband's law partner . . . she knew his first wife's name, the law partner Blake's . . . not my husband's first wife. She knew her as a little girl. She had lived across the street from Reguet and her family for many years. She knew of their children, his in-laws, his brother-in-law. She knew the whole family. Her children had even gone to the same private school our oldest attends. She knew how the founder of Greenhill then created another school her children went to called Lakewood.
When Blake and his family decided to build a bigger home they bought Heidi's property and build their dream home on it. This woman knew everything. We were really amazed. It is not often . . . you are in the middle of a jungle . . . in another country . . . at a spider monkey hands on experience . . . and find a friend of a friend.
All of the crazy small world stuff aside. We had a great time during our experience. We had access to 6 female spider monkeys. The man, from the enclosure, and Heidi take such good care of these monkeys. The monkeys truly love these two people who went from living pretty high on the hog in Dallas to the middle of no where helping some sweet little monkeys.
We really had a good time, lots of laughs and lots of monkeying around!