August 19, 2013

Experience Making A Difference - Amazon CARES Veterinary Volunteer (Part 3/3)

Have you ever wondered what a day volunteering with Amazon CARES is like? Recent veterinary volunteer Sarah Keown shares her experience with us in today's blog.

Day 11

A big adventure today - going to Tres Unidos.  Three men came to our beautiful lodge in San Pedro to help, and off in the boat we went down the main river (seeing river dolphins on the way!) before navigating through very narrow tributaries carefully directed by one of our helpers. We really felt we were properly in the deepest Amazonian jungle!

When we finally reached the bank more people were waiting to carry our masses of equipment on the tricky, exciting half hour trek uphill to the settlement.  They were determined to carry everything themselves, which was extremely nice as our crew all found it difficult enough without anything to carry!  Off we went traversing bogs and logs up to the very smart village.

Tres Unidos has grown since a shaman's temple has been set up next door  - nearly everybody in the village now works for this place and the size of the village has at least tripled since it began.  Even though it's the tiniest place, you see the odd gringo (some in the "I love everything" stage of ayahuasca!) - which was even odd for me by now!

We were based in the school building today - I was quite happy at my little miniature set up of school tables and a little children's chair - ideal for me! Three bitch spays and two dog castrates today - we did 16 in total which is a lot less than normal, but probably a higher proportion of the population in this small community.  Also two sets of anti-parasiticides for the two local working horses which Rachel did - my days of equine practice are well behind me (thankfully!).

Just before we got in the boat home we saw some more wildlife - big orange monkeys in the trees.  Is so nice to see them in the wild especially as illegal trade in monkeys for pets is a huge problem - which is where the lodge's baby wooley monkey Valentine  was rescued from.  Tied to a tree by his "owners" who wanted to breed him!  At least now he seems to have really settled into his new abode, thankfully, and loved the cuddles from everyone.  Highlight for myself was him falling asleep curled up on me whilst I chilled on the hammock - lush!


Interested in volunteering? Amazon CARES offers virtual and veterinary volunteer positions year-round. Learn more here.

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