Meet Vanessa Woods... internationally published author, journalist, and [full disclosure] among my most interesting friends. I've just finished her latest book 'It's Every Monkey For Themselves: A true story of love sex and lies in the jungle' and cannot recommend it highly enough--An honest, funny, and poignant account of her research in Costa Rica with capuchin monkeys, it's the tale of a brave, independent, and fascinating young woman as she learns about life; kind of like Sex And The City meets Gorillas in the Mist. Her witty commentary and incisive perspectives kept me turning pages and sometimes wondering how she survived. I haven't enjoyed a read this much in years.
Unfortunately for me, but lucky for readers, Vanessa is off to Congo with her husband, professor of biological anthropology and anatomy at Duke, Dr. Brian Hare, to study chimps and bonobos. And while I'm going to miss them, the good news is all of us can follow their adventures at Bonobo Handshake, Vanessa's Congo blog:
'Imagine a relative who thinks sex is like a handshake. Who organises orgies with the neighbours, doesn't mind if their partner sleeps around, and firmly believes females should be in charge of everything. Imagine there was a whole tribe of these relatives - crazy yes? But definitely a lot of fun.'
Brian and Vanessa will begin at Point-Noire in the Republic of Congo, head to Brazzaville, and finally travel across the Congo River to Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo to Lola Ya Bonobo sanctuary. [I hope readers will consider adopting a bonobo to help support this wonderful organization].