LOUIS ABELMAN

Itebero the Gorilla: Cuteness or Menace-ness?

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A guest at Maji Matulivu, Lyn and Jo’s house by the lake, works at the Diane Fossey Gorilla Fund in Goma. He gets to spend his days with Itebero, an infant gorilla that was recovered from the black market. This little lady has become world famous for her unprecedented (in a gorilla) use of tools: she likes to sit and crack palm nuts with rocks using a hammer and anvil method. Read more at this awesome baby animal blog or here. I have some pictures of Itebero sifting gravel for favorite rocks but can’t upload them from here, consarn it.

In other news, “Prejudice,” the soap opera short we shot last year with local impressario Horeb Bulambo Shindano was featured in an east Congo film festival here last Friday night at the hotel Ihusi. Some of the other movies were impressive; in particular, one about the rotting colonial film archives in Kinshasa, and “Stokyo,” about kids hanging out, smoking, riffing, rapping, in Goma (unprecedented in world cinema I think). It was the most exciting experience I’ve had socially in Goma so far, as I was brought up on stage to discuss our film after the screening in front of a couple hundred people. The spotlight is bright in Goma for Mzungu film actors… I saw my costar Tantine again, beautiful as ever, and we capped the night with drinks and dancing at Coco Jambos, where we met the owner Nono and made friends with the cook Maestro, a real rastaman.

And yes, I’m actually doing work, too: we are meeting and getting to know a new class of fistula patients at the hospital, and they are as lovely and lively and welcoming to annoying Mzungus as ever. The hardest part is figuring out how to convey all they’ve been through when all they do is laugh and make fun of us all the time. Me and Nelson have been collecting marriage proposals, though we’ve carefully described our imaginary fiancees back home. Imaginary fiancees… is this what I’ve come to?

Written by louis

October 24th, 2005 at 4:07 pm

Posted in Blog

One Response to 'Itebero the Gorilla: Cuteness or Menace-ness?'

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  1. I can’t believe I lived my whole (dark, tunneled) life without a blog about baby animals.

    embot

    28 Oct 05 at 02:29

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