Our group is sitting in a tiki-style hut / restaurant waiting for our boat to Yanamono, our first stop on our 5 day jungle adventure. We've been up since 5 AM preparing our own lunches for today and tomorrow. Then we arrived at the in-town Veterinary Clinic to load up the mountain of supplies we will need for ourselves and the animals we will treat this week. Despite our early arrival, it turns out our boat won't accommodate the gear AND us! So we are waiting for a second boat. The boat just arrived and they are loading in our cargo. 1.5 hours to Yanamono, where we hope to fit in a good day of work despite our late arrival. It is now 9:45 AM.
Despite our late arrival in Yanamono at 11:15 AM, and the time needed to lug ALL of our supplies up muddy, rickety "steps," We set up quickly and patients were waiting. I checked in the animals using new, improved forms created by the current group of Vets. We always improve from their participation. I also prepped a dog for surgery, even shaving him with a straight razor attached to tweezers. That was a little scary for me, not wanting to cut the animal prior to the surgeon's scalpel. I cleaned up and sterilized instruments and got proper blood on all of my clothes, officially passing this trips initiation. We completed 10 surgeries in 1 hour. A record, I think.
Then it started to rain, and not lightly....Torrential rain. The maloca's roof is in need of replacing, much like the one at our shelter. Everything was getting wet. At this point most animals were already recovering. We stored our equipment in the local church and trudged through the heavy rain and mud with all of our personal belongings. Although we packed light, many of us, including me, felt weighed down, and the slippery steps down to the boat were quite dodgy.Yanomono is a town we have serviced before, but it has been over two years. A highlight is visiting with Nancy Dunn. She is a courageous woman that has followed her passion, and maintains a Center for Community Learning with a library for children, sewing classes for the local women so that they can create and sell crafts. She is a woman that has made significant change in her community, and she is tireless in her work. Nancy is one of my role models. Visit http://cccamazonlibrary.org to learn more about their worthy causes.
We arrived at Explorama Lodge. A special thanks to them for their generosity and for allowing us to stay for free. The rooms were simple -- small beds with mosquito netting. The night ended in tranquil bliss, with us relaxing, and even sleeping, in hammocks, by kerosene lamp.
Please note that this blog refers to activities that took place on Monday, October 25, 2010.
By Molly Mednikow, Yanamono, Peru