New kid on the…mountain!

Hello everyone. My name is Joye and I´m a technican from Nova Scotia taking part in this amazing experience in Guatemala. You may have read the blog entry about my clinic, Truro Veterinary Hospital, and their huge contribution enabling me to be here. If so, you know that I only had 1 week to prepare for this trip. We are now a week and a half into things and I think I´ve finally figured out what I´m doing here! 🙂

So many things are different here from the dogs we see back home, of course. The average body condition score is 2 out of 5 rather than 4 and the dogs are all infested with fleas and intestinal parasites. Of course, the clients speak mostly Spanish or Mam (a traditional language), so I have a hard time communicating most of the time. That being said..the “appointments” are similar to those at home in many ways. We discuss diet and parasite control and vaccination and the importance of spaying and neutering, in much the same way we would in Canada. As at home, some people are very receptive to our comments, and some are not. I guess some things are the same all over the world.

Last week we visited the community of San Martin and stayed with families there. The family I stayed with was so helpful and pleasant to be with, even if I´m pretty sure we had to walk to Mexico to get to their house! The people in San Martin, and their dogs, were very different from those we´ve seen in the central portion of Todos Santos. The dogs were thinner and in many cases more fearful or hostile to us during exams. The community seems much less traditional and more Westernized, with more Mexican influence. It´s only an hour by bus away, so the differences were very remarkable.

This week is spay week and so far it´s progressing very well. It´s sooo cold here in the mornings, however, so we are often off to a slow start. I spend much of the early morning shivering and huddled by our meager heater, and I developed a cold on Monday that has been hanging with me throughout the week. Today some members of the team presented a show and activity for the children here on dog safety which was very entertaining and well received. Roberto as Scooby Doo was a huge hit! 🙂

Well, that´s all my news for now. One more day of spays left and then some catching up and hard to believe it´s almost over already. Thanks to everyone who has helped make this experience so amazing for me!!