Vet Volunteers – On The Road Again!

by Mary Haight on August 24, 2012

Volunteer vets road trip! Bus, Vet Volunteerstwo hours, motor boat 4 hours, not including stops mid-water to see why the gas was leaking…there were not enough seats for the number of people and backpacks were piled three high in the one aisle, with surgical packs, cages and other sundry items strapped to the roof. Looked like we were in for a bumpy ride…

Stop for gas and lunch was about 3 hours in, we did not get out, and could not if we tried, but a local bread was offered still warm from the oven and a local raw milk cheese that came with a warning to be eaten at your own risk due to possible bacteria contamination. The bread looked a bit like a foot-long; it was soft, spongy and had little taste. I did not buy one, but got offered a piece so I could taste it.

vet volunteersDespite the cramped conditions and dangerously gas-fume-filled cabin, everyone sorted themselves out and got as comfortable as possible, tough when your knees are up under your chin;)

A couple of us were lucky enough to see a dolphin and for me, well, that made my day. I had earlier taken a fall while maneuvering luggage and watching my footing – the stairs ended maybe 36 inches before the unlevel ground beneath (I noted it was mid-thigh on Racelle LaMar so I may not be quite accurate). I recall thinking “where’s the stair, there should be a stair” before crumpling to the ground almost laughing at myself for thinking “should be a stair”. Expectations will be the undoing of us all;)

What was so amazing was the reaction of local people around me…they got me up, asked if I was okay and helped me dust the wet sand off. How nice of them to stop their work to help a stranger. One person grabbed my bag and guided me across the rocks to the boat I was to board. Kindness expressed is something to treasure.

volunteer vetsWe arrived in Requena and I saw what might be 5-7 stray dogs running around…it’s sometimes hard to tell owned from not. Who knows what their daily pattern might be – they could all be eating up the leftovers (garbage) after lunch or having a sleep.

We were greeted by the Chief of Police or the equivalent, who said the hotel was in walking distance. I took a bet it wasn’t according to my now aching body as did another fellow traveler and we moto-taxied our way to the hotel. Turned out to be a good decision;) Everything is relative.

We were soon settled and loosely discussing the plans for the coming week and what to do about dinner. This is a very small town, cut from the jungle, yet many have cellphones – that was unexpected! With the first day of work looming, we called it an early night.


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