Saturday, July 30, 2011

Photo Shoot

Here are some up-close pictures I was able to take of the bats at the first entrance to the cave.


Oh Boy...

A guest found this bad boy hanging out in the bottom of the 3rd opening of the cave.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Rest In Peace

Today, Sampson was laid to rest in a beautiful sunset ceremony. He was buried between the cave where he was born and the house he died in, the two only homes he ever knew. Unable to find a shovel, Ambre dug the grave with her bare hands. Elton John's Candle in the Wind played softly in the background while we both spoke our final words to Sampson. There were moments filled with both laughter and tears. Broken hearted, Waddles the penguin declined to comment and instead threw himself into the tiny grave so that he and Sampson could be together for eternity. We enjoyed our time with Sampson and regret that he did not get to live a full life. But every cloud has a silver lining and through this great tragedy we should all realize how important it is to make the most of our time together. Rest in peace Sampson.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Final Farewell

Despite earlier reports that Sampson was doing well, things took a turn for the worst over the last day and a half. He developed several blisters on his right wing and yesterday we noticed a small hole in his left wing. Additionally, skin on parts of his wings had also begun to slough off, he stopped eating, and he eventually appeared to be having respiratory problems. Because he started to go downhill so quickly, Ambre and I do not not believe that we did anything to bring about his demise. Sampson passed on into the the great beyond at approximately 8:57 this morning, surrounded by his two adoptive mothers and Waddles, his stuffed penguin. We are happy to have gotten the opportunity to know him over the past six days and will remember him fondly. Memorial services will be held in the early evening. Candle in the Wind by Elton John will be played as a tribute and after a few kind words are said, he will be laid to rest near the cave. Please observe a moment of silence in Sampson's honor. Also, enjoy this picture; it was taken on the day we found him, after trying to put him back in the cave.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sampson Update!

It's been four whole days since we adopted Sampson and I am happy to report that he is doing well. Dr. Sherwin estimates that he is probably about three weeks old. He is eating baby formula every four hours and seems to really enjoy it. We have also given him Ambre's stuffed penguin for company, which he has become quite attached to. Last night when I got up to feed him he started flapping his wings for the first time. It was so exciting that I had to wake up Ambre so that she could see it too. From the information we have found online, Sampson should start flying at around ten weeks.

Friday, July 22, 2011

What is that?

When we first arrived at the cave, Norma told us to look for her beautiful albino bats (there are two of them). One of them she has named "Blanca Bella." She said that she had never seen these bats, but that they have been seen by the tour guides at the third opening. Well, Norma brought some friends to the cave yesterday and told them to keep an eye out for these illusive bats. Much to our shock, BOTH white bats were out yesterday and we were able to take some pictures of one of them.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Unexpected Guests

Lindsey and I are extremely entertained by all of the random guests that we find walking through our yard - there have been dogs, frogs, cats, cows, etc. We thought we would show you who stopped by yesterday.

Yep - that would be sheep and a turkey...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

One Batty Idea

Today was a strange day. We were out filming the bats and as usual, I had to go in for a bathroom break. When I came back out I kept hearing noises. I thought it was just the bats in the cave but when I turned my head I saw a tiny baby bat face down in the dirt. We have no idea how he got there and he had ants crawling all over him. So, I picked him up and called for Ambre to come help. This is the second time we have encountered this problem so once again, we decided that the best thing to do would be to put him back in the cave. Ambre went in to do it and temporarily scared all of the bats away but still managed to get the baby to grab on to the wall. I made sure to keep an eye on him but it didn't even take five minutes for him to fall again. By this time I was sure he wouldn't be alive but I ran to check, just in case. Sure enough, he was laying there squeaking for help. After surviving two falls I couldn't bring myself to put him back again so Ambre filled the role of babysitter while I went to do some extensive googling. Information on bat rehabilitation is not an easy thing to find so we weren't exactly sure what to do. Regardless, off to the store I went hoping to find some goat's milk. I had no such luck and instead came back with baby formula, regular cow milk, a paintbrush, two towels, and a washcloth. We did our best to feed the bat with the paintbrush but it proved to be a challenge. Afterwards, we flipped a table upside down and draped a towel over it to make a bat hammock for him to sleep in. We are hoping for the best but I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens. Take a look, we have named him Sampson.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Meet Our New Pet!

Since our arrival, Ambre and I have been observing the many animals living around us. There are dogs, birds, geckos, and cats among other things. Originally, we were dealing with cats fighting on the roof, living under the floor boards, and pulling out our trash. We did what we could to fix the problem but by now we are learning to embrace it. One amazing cat in particular has caught our attention. It seems that he got into a pretty serious fight sometime during the last week. He has the most pathetic meow and even I feel sorry for him. For a few days he walked around limping on only three of his legs. This is how he earned his name- Tripod. We are presently in a downward spiral. It all started when we decided to stop chasing him out of the house. Before we knew it we were giving him our leftovers, including part of the roasted chicken we had for dinner tonight. However, Ambre's case seems to be more severe than mine because she has somehow convinced herself that it is okay to touch his tail and scratch him through her bath robe. We know that Niki would not be proud since we have clearly broken her "touch nothing, feed nothing" rule but all of the other cats pick on him and we cannot help ourselves. He is getting a little friendly and we are trying to teach him about boundaries but right now he is very busy hunting for geckos.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Night Creature

Last night Lindsey came and got me from bed to show me the most fabulous gecko ever! He was well over twice the size of my gecko and probably close to a foot in length. We aren't sure yet what type of gecko he is, but take a look...

Feast Fit for a King

So, as we've already reported, our cook did not show up today. After speaking with Norma, we found out that our suspicions were correct- Bebot will not be returning as far as we know. Ambre and I will now be responsible for preparing our own meals and how long this will last we are not sure. Since this happened so unexpectedly, we were not as prepared as we could have been. This morning the only things we had to eat were some overripe fruit, garlic, various packets of soup, and the few things we bought yesterday on our trip to the market and the convenience store. For breakfast, Ambre decided on a bowl of banana honey oatmeal and some kind of sweet bun thing that is like a donut/cinnamon roll combo. I, on the other hand, had just the sweet bun and starved until around noon. Then, I ate some leftover spaghetti with strange sauce around lunch time so that I could take my medications. Later in the day, we had someone go to the store to pick up a few things so that we would have something for dinner. One of the things that was brought back turned out to be pork chops. But don't get too excited because neither of us quite knows what to do with them... Instead, we turned to the things that we are more familiar with. Each of us had a small can of beanie weenies and two tiny peanut butter sandwiches without jelly. It may not sound exciting to anyone else but trust me, it was very satisfying. Here is a picture of it!

Sunday Upset

We got up this morning as usual, but Bebot (our cook) was AWOL. After talking to Norma, it seems as though he will not be coming back. Now we are looking into new eating arrangements. At the moment, all the food we have to our names is a can of corn, 2 small cans of pork and beans, rice, noodles, candy, and coke. :)

One option, our favorite, is just to send lists of what we need to Norma so she can have someone pick the supplies up for us in Davao. Norma's help has been priceless; she is a fantastic lady.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


HELLO! Just a friendly word of advice - Lindsey and I usually post several posts at once so make sure you don't just look at the first page when you visit, if you do you might sometimes miss new posts on the second and third pages.

ALSO - if you click on the pictures we post you can view larger versions of them!

The Market

Lindsey and I finally got up the courage to go to the market today. We decided to walk there with Bebot in the early afternoon. Funnily enough, Norma arrived right as we were leaving. We ended up getting a free ride to the market with her! The reason we went to the market was primarily to purchase some soda and see what other foods were available - preferably comfort foods that remind us of home. This is what the market looks like. You can see what we bought from the bakery and convenience store in one of the pictures (all of it cost less than 10 dollars!)

Night At the Bat Cave

Last night, we went to the bat cave after dark for the first time. This is what we found:

Ocean Class

Bebot (our cook, cleaner, electrician, language teacher, tour guide, keep us company man) took us down to the water today to show us the animals there. He wants to make sure we know exactly what is dangerous and what is harmless, something we greatly appreciate. Here are the pictures from that adventure.

Chocolate Chip Sea Star Extravaganza

One of these things is not like the other...

Disgusting Sea Urchin

Slimy Sea Cucumber

Deadly Sea Urchin

Nifty Sea Star

Weird Sea Worm

Pincushion Sea Star

Herping Adventure: Edition 2

Here are some more pictures of our herping adventures. For those of you who may not know herp stands for herpetology, which is the study of reptiles and amphibians. The Filipinos think the toad is a bullfrog, but Dr. Sherwin thinks it might be a cane toad - maybe Dr. Meyer can enlighten us. The other picture is another type of gecko that we've seen in the house at night; he is pretty darn amazing. We've also included a picture of an insect for Dr. Meyer and a cute baka (meaning cow in tagalog) for everyone else.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Around the House

Here are some pictures of what the cabana looks like from the outside. Also, there is a picture of a huge plane that flew above us today - did we mention that the house lies directly beneath a major flight path to the airport?

Ocean Adventure

Lindsey and I decided to walk down to the beach at low tide today in order to look at the starfish we had seen yesterday. This little excursion quickly turned into a 3 hour adventure. We probably walked a couple hundred yards into the water; at the deepest point the water came up to our thighs. Take a look at what we found - it was amazing!