This place is an animal refuge out in the desert in Hurghada, Egypt. It is run by a very dedicated woman and her husband and it is called the Bluemoon Animal Centre. Monique Carrera is a woman with a story to tell, (and I would love to write a book about her), but mostly she talks with passion and dedication about the centre, and about her future goals both for the centre and for change in how animals are regarded in the area.
The Bluemoon is a non-profit organisation which grew in size from Monique and her husband rescuing a few cats and dogs to this huge compound that they developed - wrestled is probably a better word - from the desert. There are cats, dogs, horses, camels, donkeys, goats, chickens, ducks, turkeys, turtles and even budgerigars. The animals are rescued from abandonment or from mistreatment and brought to the Centre. They are healed, rehabilitated and re-homed. Sometimes they go to local homes, and sometimes overseas. The Centre also runs a vet clinic which provides care to local animals, and they run a boarding kennel. They have a program in which the street cats and dogs are desexed and returned, as a way of controlling the population. The Bluemoon simply cannot rescue all the animals, but I do believe they would if they could.
And the Centre? It is a wonderful place out in the desert. The buildings are made from local materials and they recycle wherever they can. There is a wall currently in progress made from sand filled water bottles and cement. There are trees and flowering plants, and they have just recently installed a water treatment plant so they have their own water. This means a great saving as they no longer need to buy water, and can also grow vegetables and fruits. The animals are housed in roomy, comfortable runs which are kept clean. There are volunteers who come to work in whatever capacity is required, and staff that tend to the animals daily. Both Monique and her husband are artists (although how she finds the time to produce art in her hectic life is quite beyond me) and their artwork is for sale at the Centre, along with plants and various animal accessories.
The thing that struck me most about this place is the serenity that pervades it. I am sure there are daily dramas and issues, but still it is peaceful and serene overall. I also felt a strong sense of community, and I do wish I could be a part of it. However everyone there needs to be able to pull their weight in looking after the animals - the animals are the focus as they should be. I simply felt that I would not be able to do that, especially if the asthma flares up so I felt I would not be a viable member of the team.
There are people in the world who make a difference, who change the way others think, whose ripples in the pond of life are the strongest and longest lasting. Monique Carrera is one of those people and I feel privileged to have met this amazing and inspiring woman.
Following is a link to an interview done in 2011, which is well worth looking at if you are interested in learning more about Monique.
I'm not attaching many photos, simply because photos do not really do the place justice. I would need to write a book and include myriad photos of it to really show it as it is. Actually I really would like to do just that. Quite a few bloggers have written about the Bluemoon, and it is well known, but I feel this is one of those stories that would be a positive inspiration for everyone.
And, I am doing my own small bit to help - I have adopted two street kittens, one which was very thin and another just so young poor baby. These were given to me by another person with a big heart who tries to rescue as many street cats as she can. The little grey boy is called Amadeus, and the girl which was so thin I could feel every bone in her little body is called Sabrina.