A little about Carmen
In a small basket, secured off with a piece of cloth, sits a small infant with big frightened eyes. She is tied around her neck with a thin rope attached to the edge of the basket. The rope is totally unnessesary; she would be too scared even to look over the edge of the basket while moving 60 km/hr on the motorbike. When we open the cloth, she just sits there, staring at these new unknown faces staring back at her. A gesture of love, a hand reaching out to her is taken with a bit of caution. She takes her time to smell, then touches the hand with her own. It is OK. She is lifted out of the basket and immediately clings tightly. We quickly cut the rope from around her neck. She has a bad scar… and she wear a necklace… we take it off too. The “owners”, who have brought her to Nyaru Menteng, tell us her name is Kiki. We already have a Kiki; we will have to find a new name. Since we are in a somewhat south American mode, having one little orangutan boy named Pepe, one other one Carlos and one other one Amigo, we decide to name her Carmen. Carmen is approx 1.5 yrs old. She has very dark hair and skin and big black eyes. Her arms and legs are skinny and she has a large belly. She has turned out to be quite a character. She is very independent in the forest spending lots and lots of time high in the trees, trying out little fruits and new leaves. She also attempts to make nests and though they might be slightly flimsy they seem to be able to hold her… for now. When Carmen is hungry, and this seems to be very frequent she comes down from the trees in a hurry. If it takes more than 10 seconds for a bottle of milk to appear in front of her she throws some great tantrums. She throws herself on her back, kicking her arms and legs while screaming on the top of her lungs. Sometimes she is so frustrated she will stand up turn and throw her arms helplessly into the air and sit flat down on her behind again. At night we simply have to have a fresh bottle of milk ready at all times in the corner of the basket, otherwise she manages to wake up every single one of her 12 friends with her screams and pushing other baskets around in frustration. Funny how names sometimes turns out to fit their character so well. Carmen means; the hot blooded, gesturing, Hispanic nature.