October 23, 2010
Amazon CARES' Animal Care Workers
Esther is the senior vet of the organization. Successfully wooed by Molly to join the practice, she moved her entire family from a suburb of Lima to join the CARES team. She is a dedicated professional, and her affect is one of no-nonsense expertise with the pet owners. Back at the clinic, however, she is quick to smile and joke, her frank, intelligent face alight with friendliness.
Luis is the newest member of the CARES team, having only been in Iquitos for six weeks. With his soulful brown eyes and hipster goatee, Luis seems Hollywood-cast for the role of sensitive, idealistic young veterinario. Luis only was able to leave the practice clinic one time during my stay there to do spays at the Punchana mobile clinic, instead spending his days at the Pevas Ave. office, treating animals and performing surgeries for paying clients. Ambitious and keenly bright, Luis goes to school at night to learn English and Portugeuse, and has dreams of traveling the world like the CARES volunteer veterinarians or perhaps working in a wildlife preserve.
Behtjane (pronounced "Bet-hany" for us Spanish-impaired) is a veterinary nurse. Blessed with a "make-do" attitude necessary for the mobile clinics, she helped us all to use the materials on hand, even if they weren't the best for the job - "making do" with less, something else, or nothing at all. For example, we ran out of the small butterfly catheters for administering drugs. The vets quailed at using the larger catheters we had available, especially considering the scrawny, small animals upon which they would be used. However, Behtjane, with characteristic aplomb, skillfully used the catheters, with a minimum of bleeding and always on the first try, with no twisting or digging about. Minnesota vet Judith summed it up best: "She is amazing." No argument there.
Harris is CARES' resident dog whisperer. Despite only being 19 years old, his skill at catching and restraining dogs is by far the best of the group, so much that all the others defer to his skill when encountering a less-than-friendly animal. His skill at netting half-wild, snarling and biting street dogs is amazing; his gentleness, even more so.
It was wonderful meeting and working with all of these people; their skill and dedication are truly inspirational!