Alan’s birthday

Last Sunday, the 15th of April, Alan was gaining an additional year. It was a good opportunity to celebrate and another good excuse to have some fun.

Although it was his birthday, we spent the day at the field site collecting some data. Sunday is a very important day for the data collection as many tourists are at the site, and in addition, it was Moroccan holidays, so we expected a lot of tourists.

As everyday, we arrived at the field site around 7 am and we were welcomed by the tourist dogs that live at the field site. We found the group quite easily, generally before 8 am, because they usually stay in the sleeping trees around the tourist site. So as every morning, we found the group, still in the trees, half awake. Unfortunately for us, the weather conditions decided to celebrate Alan’s birthday with freezing snowing/rainy fog weather! Totally wet and freezing, with the monkeys up to the trees making their identification quite hard, we kept collecting data, as best as we could.

Alan and Ryan working hard to get precious behavioural data!

 Celia trying to get some urine from Pepito. Not easy in the brushes!

We are not the only ones who suffer from this weather.

As awful as it seems, we had a great day in fact!  To keep a bit warm, the fossil sellers nicely offered us to warm up close to their stove. So we alternately came to dry and warm up close to the stove while the data collection was still conducted. I have to admit that is one of the best advantages to work with this group. With wild monkeys, we would stay there and be freezing all day. Then for lunch we had a fabulous kefta tajine. Bark closed his shop for the occasion; we all ate together the wonderful warm tajine. For dessert, we brought a cake with a candle. We all shared the cake with the fossil sellers. Although it was a short celebration, because of the data collection, we truly had a great time.


Wonderful warm Tajine with a traditional Moroccan drink!

Alan sharing his birthday cake

Later on, we had a proper party to celebrate as well. So happy birthday again Alan, and I hope the next birthday of one of our team members is coming soon!

Having fun!


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