This post is part of a series documenting a trip undertaken by a team of volunteers with World Vets who traveled to Arusha, Tanzania in June 2012 to provide veterinary care for the under (or should be say un-) served donkey population. For the full series of posts covering World Vets, please click here.
Our last day of the World Vets trip started on a bit of a melancholy note. We had just hit our stride and now here we were, about to wrap up. But as you can see, Livingstone had saved the busiest day for last so once we got in the car, there was too much going on to be sad. And as you will hear tomorrow, we also had the job of deflecting the attentions of an overly amorous Maasai to serve as a distraction.
Kisongo, unlike Kikatiti the day before, was a sprawling market that swirled over and through the city center like a shroud. Without the benefit of a village council member like Albert, we had to start the day with Livingstone at the market’s central office to register and make sure we had proper permission to do our work.
While Livingstone was doing paperwork, Kyle brought out his ever popular sporting goods assortment and we all made some new friends. The little girl with the football is going to get her own post, she was THAT cute.
While we were waiting, we saw a playful puppy walking by:
It took just a moment for Teri to scoop him up and get him a flea treatment.
But soon enough, we had our permission to begin. The team packed up our bags, loaded down our pockets, and started off to treat the punda. Today, we were accompanied by Carolyn, an agricultural officer from the market.
Alana had brought a large number of donated halters from Australia. Up until this point, we had been rationing them out to donkeys that seemed to be the most in need. Today, since we were winding up, we gave them out more frequently. As Livingstone was to mention, this was a good way to get owners who might otherwise avoid us to agree to treatment: they saw a shiny halter, wanted one for their punda, and then found out about the other services we were offering that day. It was an excellent incentive.
Many of the rope versions the owners were using were ill-fit, cutting the donkeys underneath their orbits.
Soon the team spotted a punda with a significant infection on his face.
Rudy and Janet immediately started clipping away the crusty fur to see what the skin underneath looked like.
It was a bit of a mess. Ouch.
Then Toccoa began the task of cleaning up all the dirt and purulent debris.
But oh, how he dipped his head and pushed into the sponge. If you’ve ever cleaned a dog’s ears when they’re itchy, you know that response, that “ooooh, rub right there please, oh yes ohyesohyes” sort of wiggle.
The clippers, of which we only had one set, were a bit of a mess after that. Here, Toccoa is demonstrating a) Proper clipper care; b) with Rachel’s help, how to channel Lakshmi; c) All of the above. (The answer is C.) Clippers are a hot commodity in these parts. Remember that. It comes up again later.
And just nuts. We ran out of supplies nuts. Took us all day just to complete one circuit of the market nuts.
This was the first day I actually worried about someone getting separated from the group and disappearing into the teeming mass of color, sugar cane, and roasted peanuts for sale.
Can you spot the World Vets guy? Took a second this time, didn’t it.
But you’re not even that interested in that, are you? You all want to hear about the guy who tried, valiantly yet unsuccessfully, to purchase himself his very own World Vets veterinarian for a wife. Well, that’s tomorrow.