After the first workcamp Land for the bears, and with many other volunteers and scout groups newly arrived, our workcamp has been working hard to prepare a new bear enclosure in the refuge. Every morning bright and early our team stumbles out of bed to dig the foundations which will surround the enclosure. We use picks, shovels and spades to help us do this. The trenches have to be 1.7metres deep and are filled with cement which has to be rolled downhill in wheelbarrows and poured inside the holes.
Here are some pictures of us:
Although the work has been tough its very rewarding to know we are all contributing to such a special and meaningful project. The fact that at the end of the muscle pain, sun burn (and in one case sun stroke ) there will be a new home for bears who are in need of one keeps us all going.
Besides the work we have managed to have lots of fun during our first week in Kuterevo. On Sunday our workcamp leader organised a trip to Senj where we took a tour of the city. Our first stop was the city’s church which was really impressive. After that we visited the city castle where we enjoyed a beautiful view of the the islands surrounding Senj.
In the afternoon it was time to relax – beach, beers, a picnic and some swimming.
As part of our downtime we visited a lady in Kuterevo who makes the villages renowned ‘coklje’ – traditional slippers handcrafted using wool, recycled materials and fabrics as well as tyre for the soles.
A bit of Rakija (a traditional drink made in Kuterevo) and a box of biscuits later we were still listening to her stories with intrigue. She had us all laughing with her animated expressions and honest approach in telling some of us we were white and small and others that we would never get married due to the size of our feet (size 48). Despite the cutting honesty by the end of the visit we all wanted to to smuggle her back to the refuge with us.
Getting to know the eight bears in the refuge and caring for them has been a big part of our stay so far in kuterevo. Here are some pictures of us feeding them bear ice-cream (huge blocks of ice filled with fruit such as nectarines, peaches and apples) and other pictures of us making what are called ‘Enrichments’ tree stumps which have small holes drilled into them. The holes are filled with peanut butter, walnuts, corn and sunflower seeds for the bears to either claw or lick out.