"The good thing about the job," she said, "is that you get really used to change, which is what life is all about anyways." When I asked if this was a motto or a creed that she lived by, Tanya responded: "It works for me. It's hard because you constantly have to reinvent your life every two or so years.
And you're constantly starting from zero with people that you meet. So I don't know." On the flip side, Tanya mentioned that she wasn't sure she could live a more "normal" or sedentary life.
"I'm not even sure I could sit and do that [live the comfortable, stay-in-one-place life] anymore," she said.
"People's birthdays, graduations, weddings, anniversaries. You miss those things that are important, those rights of passage and traditions. Sometimes, too, people forget about you because you're gone." Although I only had this short conversation with Tanya, I feel like it's this last issue that's understandably a bit of a conflict for her.
At times, I felt like she was trying to justify her career path, like she was voicing an argument to me that had been rattling around in her mind for quite some time.
Tied to our table while we shared iced tea (Tanya) and coffee (me), Nico (shame on me - I forgot to offer him a drink!
) spent most of his time mingling quietly with Tanya's legs.
She was sent into the forest to see if this chimp saving NGO was something that the US government would be interested in funding.
From what I could tell, this foray into the forest wasn't a normal part of Tanya's job description, although it appeared to be a fun diversion from the everyday.
In case you were wondering, the situation went down like this: Early one morning, Tanya and a guide set out to investigate a German NGO that was busy protecting and researching chimpanzees in Cote D'Ivoire's Tai Forest. "They've developed a taste for it." Eventually, Tanya and her guide met up with the German NGO researchers.
According to Tanya, monkey poachers are a big problem in Cote D'Ivoire. They decided to go check out the chimps in their treetop nests, where they were sleeping.
They get really rowdy, they start swinging from trees, and they're making all this noise - it's actually kind of scary because you realize they could just come and crack you in half and go along their merry way." Damn.