November 15, 2010

Team Awesome…

by Lisa Mackinnon

On truck,
ready to go to mobile clinic site
Sitting at my desk, where I now work as a lawyer, watching the howling wind and rampant pouring rain through the high glassed building…….. I wonder was it a dream that less than 2 weeks age I was in the middle of the jungle in the immense heat with rare electricity and no hot water?? Then I look at my hands and realise the tan on them could not have been acquired in British November and I must have been present in the blazing Iquitos sun.
Amazon River by boat

After being a veterinary nurse for too many years to mention and a subsequent change of career, I embarked on a charity neutering trip at the beginning of October which I had been promising myself for some time.

When I saw this particular trip with Amazon Cares advertised through the Worldwide Veterinary Service, I knew this was the trip for me and I can honestly say I couldn’t have chosen better. I spent close on 3 weeks with the most amazing people, providing the most brilliant service in very difficult and challenging circumstances.

I arrived not really knowing what to expect and how much we could actually achieve in a place where the street dog population and the parasitic population that choose to spend their lives by these dogs' sides was a huge problem. I remain in awe, however of what we did achieve, without a sterile theatre, drugs we were not familiar with and situations that could have been described as chaotic at best. This was only made possible with the skills and dedication of those I was privileged to work with.

Judith and I at mobile spay and neuter clinic
The day to day work achieved by us five volunteers and the peruvian team has been so eloquently dealt with by Linda in her articulate writings on this site, so I believe all that remains for me to say is “Salud” and “respecto” to the following for making a difference:-

The Peruvian Team

Firstly Molly without whom none of this would be possible.

Bruno, Molly’s right arm, and boy...can this man dance!

Harry, Caesar Milan, eat your heart out - this guy when it comes to handling dogs is my hero!

Esther and Luis, who provide the veterinary care day in, day out with efficiency and calmness.

Behtjane, the wondernurse who can find veins that don’t exist! This lady is also the total organisation and stock controller on the road trips.

At jungle mobile spay/neuter clinic
(L-R: Catherine, Harry, Gabriela, Behtjane, Judith, Esther and Barbara)

The Volunteers
Gabriela and I

Gabriela, What can I say?? Translator extraordinaire and a great friend made for life!

Catherine and I

Catherine, “mini-vet” - a real trooper who continues her adventures for months to come. Don’t forget our reunion in Edinburgh upon your return to reality!

Judith and Barbara

Barbara & Judith - Girls, girls, you were both brilliant - if I have half your resilience, energy and zest for life when I’m your age, I’ll be one happy lady!

Linda, Blog writer and technological wizard, who despite being “non-veterinary” was always willing to muck in and certainly for me was a “godsend”.

Gabriela, Barbara, Lisa, Judith and Catherine
at mobile spay clinic, Punchana District in Iquitos

Without all of the above special people, the service provided and the results achieved would never have been possible. I feel very humbled and privileged to have been part of this fantastic journey and will never forget my Amazonian adventure.

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