The monkeys weren’t happy with me. But how could I blame them. It had been a trying layover, so rudely interrupted by custom personnel, security guards, dogs and the Vietnamese National Guard who were just not understanding that I was a Yale International Global Ambassador with a letter from the ambassador. I had to just keep explaining that I needed three monkeys for my really very groundbreaking study on whether monkeys are primates, plus my support monkey, and then my therapy monkey, which is different from a support monkey for lord’s sake and is for this veterinary elementary school that I am founding in Fiji if they would just let me get on this plane.

So anyhow, the monkeys had no choice but to ride in steerage and their seats didn’t even recline and people, you’re hearing it from me: Emirates refuses to allow passengers to bring more than two carry-ons per monkey. So obviously I recorded that scene the pilot was making and the proof is on YouTube being viral.

I almost cried when we finally arrived and I stepped out of the authentic little airport where I saw Britney Spears, and there was the Yale in Fiji shuttle sitting there, waiting for me. It was there, halfway around the world, that I realized that the blue Y will always provide. I will never, ever have to forge my own way or earn any accolade based on merit. It’s a wonderful world.

So then we got to the host family and like, I don’t want to say that I blame them for not knowing I’m vegetarian, but if I go to Yale and have never lived on a farm, I mean, come on guys. (This is not to say that I don’t go to the farmers market. I obviously support the farmers market.)

After unpacking my air conditioner and getting that bad boy set up, it was time to look around. I was shocked and saddened by the desolation around me. Beaches were empty. Sweeping views were mine alone. Luckily, my two thousand Instagram followers were soon right there with me, consoling me and making me realize that I was having fun. I was also surprised that, given all of the coffee farms, there was not a single Blue Bottle. The farms don’t get you very far if there’s no cold brew and Wi-Fi! Walking around the “downtown” I didn’t even know what to think. This was their city? It was like it wasn’t even trying to be Lower Manhattan. There was so much work to be done.

The next day I got started immediately on the veterinary elementary school. There were a few snafus. First, the building materials I had requested from the ambassador were not color-coordinated as I had requested. Each room was a different safari theme, in keeping with the Fijian landscape because I thought Fiji was in Africa. This put me back quite a bit, because the only part of the school I had actually planned was the décor. On top of my vision crumbling before my eyes, the bricks were really heavy and the monkeys were being totally unhelpful. I stopped to drink from the Fiji bottle I had bought at JFK.

I knew there was only one way to solve this. I requested more funds from the Yale International Global Ambassadors program. Then, I booked myself a room in the underwater hotel next to Britney Spears. Using Yale in Fiji, I hired a construction company to begin building the school. I hired a consulting company to headhunt for the principal. By the end of the summer, I had given jobs and opportunities to locals, inspired small children to own a monkey and had an amazing and awesome time doing it.

Oh yeah, I Wikipedia’d monkeys the night before classes and it turns out that they are primates, but there’s a pretty convincing internet hoax that says they’re not. The best scientists don’t answer questions. They ask questions that have already been answered.

Daisy Massey dorothy.massey@yale.edu