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Monkey Life


Congo monkeys are always in the trees around us in our home in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Well, let’s be more accurate: they are there at dawn, sunset, and sometimes for afternoon naps. The rest of the time they move at a leisurely pace around our mountain, across the tops of the trees eating, resting, playing, and showing the little ones how to do it right.

Congos travel in groups of between 5 and thirty monkeys ( a monkey clan is called a troop, or a barrel. Yes, it’s a barrel of monkeys!). Our Congo troop is about 20 strong, and like all other barrels of congos, they are mostly female. Females with babies.

They happen to love our mangos. Turns out, while we were away for the week about 20 kilos of mangoes were ripening in one of our enormous mango trees, the monkeys loved ALL our mangos. We came back, tree was stripped of fruit.

Every morning they greet the dawn with the most rousing, deep throated calls.

It’s a circular call and answer as the troop are spread out in the trees that surround our property. It’s an awesome thing to wake up to. One calls the other as they check in to make sure it’s all good with everyone. A morning roll call. Sometimes, it’s like a cartoon soundtrack. Other times it’s like being inside a David Attenborough documentary.



no, it’s none of those things…


… it’s the mysterious world around me, its one of the threads that make up the weave of my new life, much more real than a cartoon or a documentary. For anyone who visits, watching the monkeys is the best few hours of every day.


Originally published May 22, 2012

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