Thursday, January 14, 2010

Volunteering at Argos Animal Sanctuary

When we made our 'wishes for 2010' list
at the beginning of the year, the kids
all wished for more connection with
animals. So we went along to the Argos
Animal Sanctuary on 9th January to see
what we could do.
Cyprus has a huge problem with unwanted stray cats & dogs, with few
services to cope with them. Kittens and
puppies tend to find homes, but the
older animals aren't always so lucky.
Some do find themselves adopted by
holiday makers, and make their way
to the UK and Germany!

We spent an afternoon walking dogs,
grooming cats, being jumped on,
barked at, slept on and purred at.
At first, Sam was a bit overwhelmed with
the noise and craziness of the dog runs.
One run a day is let loose so there were
about 20 dogs roaming around the place
which was a bit scary to begin with.
The dog area sure was a contrast to the
peace and tranquility of the cat's
By the time we left, the kids all
reckoned they'd had a great time and
were asking to come back again the
next day - which we did!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

What Happened?

Well, the blog has been somewhat neglected since October - I don't know what happened, but I just have been so busy. So here's a quick run down til the end of 2009!

Samhain: pumpkins in Cyprus are not your round, plump, easy-to-make-a-lantern-out-of kind of vegetable. They're long and skinny. Cara was REALLY keen to make lanterns for our Samhain celebration, so the nearest thing we could find that would do the job was watermelons - just still in season. Of course, we had piles of watermelon after carving three lanterns, we just juiced it, bottled it and drank it for 3 days!

Kitten Rescue: in November, we found a little kitten
mewing pitifully in the road nearby our house. We left it over
night hoping it's mother would find it, but it was still there
in the morning. There are so many unwanted cats & gods
in Cyprus, many are feral and end up being poisoned by locals who get fed up of the mess they make raiding bins etc.
So this little chap was temporarily adopted by the barefoot clan. He was in a bad way - very skinny with terrible diarrhea (probably worms & fleas). We contacted a nearby sanctuary but they were full. The only place we could find for him was in Paphos - at the other end of the island. A sanctuary van comes up our way once a week, so we looked after the kitten for a week and then (sadly) handed him over to the sanctuary van. We know he'll get the necessary medical care there, and maybe even rehomed. It was a sad day for the barefoot kids.

Winter Solstice 2009: we celebrated Solstice on the 21st and 22nd December. On the 21st we had our winter feast and gift exchanging, and on the 22nd we were up at 5am to go to the ancient city of Amathus in Limassol to watch the first sunrise after the solstice. There was a small gathering of people there - it was being filmed - and the Ma Gaia frame drummers performed a drumming ritual to Aphrodite in front of the ancient temple grounds. In the picture of the five of us, you'll also see our delightful friend Natalie in the middle!