Taylor Hammack – Winter 2016 Post Reflection (Gainesville)

Hello, I’m Taylor Hammack I spent a week in Gainesville, Florida at Jungle Friends which is a primate sanctuary. They had nearly 300 monkeys total on site which was 40 acres. My experience had completely went over my expectations.

All of the works were absolutely kind and positive especially with how hard they had to work almost 24/7. At first they were a little hesitant about us due to experiences Jungle friends had with previous volunteers but once we showed them how willing we were to help you could tell they were happy we were there. Sometimes volunteers can cause more hassle than help which I’m so glad we were able to help as much as we did. We shadowed all the jobs they had on site which I was not expecting. My favorite job had to be chop because I enjoyed the peace and hearing stories plus I saw how well the monkeys ate which made me happy. The monkeys were everyone’s main concern this passion was just so amazing to see. Eating as a vegan for a week was definitely it’s own experience. The weather was a bit colder than I expected being in Florida but it was winter weather. While we worked so hard I always felt appreciated and like my work mattered on some level. We were even able to help put a habitat for them. I learned so much about monkeys such as how big of flirts they truly.

This trip was absolutely amazing and I learned so much from everyone there. And it being such an awesome trip I actually would like to go back next winter and help as much as I can. This place was so friendly and so well-kept.


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