Phase 2 Todos Santos comes to an end

Well, Phase 2 has finally come to an end, and we are all on our way home (some already back I hope!). My first day away from Todos Santos was a serious culture shock. Having travelled in many corners of the world, I did not expect to feel this as much as I do. Walking around Antigua yesterday with all the Guatemalan’s dressed in western clothes, eating hamburgers and ice cream, was truly surreal. What a rare and wonderful place Todos Santos is, where people hold onto their culture and language and wear it with pride. We have witnessed not only the good but also the difficulties this community has with poverty, politics, alcohol, unemployment, health, etc.

I thought it would be nice to have a few photos for our final words on the blog.
As school was out, we often had the children bringing in the dogs to the clinics. It was wonderful to have them watch us with curious eyes and minds and let them listen to the hearts of their dogs through our stethoscopes. We of course had to call their parents when it came to doing any sterilization procedure, THANK goodness for cell phones!

As you have read in the blog a whole bunch of times, a very special dog has attached herself to VWB/VSF . She is owned (or as the family likes to say – ”adopted”) by a family that lives next to the hostel some of us stay in. Her name is Nosey and she is simply the most gorgeous little dog in the world. We all want to take her home, but we know she is loved and cared for and takes everything in stride. She was spayed in Phase 1 and has put on weight since then – she is now the proud owner of some serious ‘love-handles’!
When we left at 4:30 am on Saturday, she followed us down the hill and proceeded to jump into the mini-bus………. we all held back the tears as I picked her up and out of the mini-bus. We will miss you Nosey – see you next time girl!
I won’t go into too many details on the rest of the photos, most of them are pretty self-explanatory. The people and their dogs, and the comfort the dogs took in having them there for them when they were recovering.

Sometimes the conditions we worked in were very challenging. We needed to help a dog who had some post-operative complications. This photo is of Marjo and I kneeling on the dirt ground, with smoke and dust everywhere, while the little girl did the dishes in the basin and the other child decided to sweep…… all while we had this doggie under anesthesia and her belly open………. true asepsis……. HA – I don’t think so BUT this is what we had to work with and happy to say, we visited Hueso (which means collar in Spanish) on Friday and she was eating our chicken and doing REALLY well. Thanks for great antibiotics and flushing, flushing, flushing………..
Not all conditions were that bad, this was our final surgical clinic, where we set up for 3 days. It was REALLY cold in the morning but by midday day the sun was pounding on the metal walls and things would warm up.

And yet another picture of dear Nosey……… and our AWESOME chief vet, Kate. We missed you Kate this week – I certainly cannot fit those shoes.

A final goodbye to the entire team, who worked with true team spirit and never ceased to amaze me at every moment.Encouraging and caring to each other, even when things got rough. Professional, compassionate, sensitive, and all in the name of the people and their dogs of Todos Santos. VWB/VSF thanks you all – your work lives on in.