We have completed our first month here and are feeling pretty good about things....although we are still taking it one day at a time. This is the week though that if we had not been able to hack it, we would have come home. We can’t imagine not staying! So this first milestone seems to be now behind us. I had a nasty dream last night about living in isolation being told that I could never go home again, it was absolutely devastating (bad mood this morning sort of a dream) but ultimately must have been my minds way of working it’s way through some of the emotions that in my waking moments, I suppress.
Nikki & I went to the animal shelter to volunteer this week, but we use the term volunteer loosely. We actually went in, looked around in horror/amazement and within 20 minutes or so I had decided that it was not a safe place for Nikki to be and quietly ducked out. It was slightly organized chaos. The group of volunteer vets from the States were only here for a week and so people were lined up down the street with their animals, some on leads, some in plastic bags, some in cages, some just roaming loose. We went through and entered the shelter and it was even worse inside, animals everywhere, tied to trees, table legs, in cages and some just roaming loose. We were ushered into the courtyard area where newspaper was laid down for animals who had already been in surgery and were waiting come to, most untied, just laying on their sides with the needle still attached to their legs. On a table near the room being used for surgery, animals were being shaved ready for their turn. The courtyard walls were covered in more cages with more dogs and cats inside, waiting for their turns!
Our job was to keep an eye on the dogs who had been in surgery, make sure they were still breathing and then stroke them and keep them calm and still as they came too. Gulp. We watched one tech try and hold down a yelping little dog who came too very frightened and obviously in pain. It took two of them to hold him while he yelped and snapped. While they were doing that, another, much larger, dog came too suddenly and went scurrying off in a hurry toward the reception area while another couple of techs. followed enmass to try and catch it before it hurt itself or someone else. It did not come easy and was snapping, trying to bite them, they managed to get it into a cage but it was scary. It was at this point (duhh) that I realized this was no place for Nikki (or me!), untrained and without Rabies shots. It turns out it was a good call. I later talked to one of the vets in town the next day as she waited for the bus. She said they had done 70 surgeries and had three people get bitten, which had never, ever happened before! What amazing work they do, all volunteer....and they are coming back in August!
There was a dog who lives at the clinic, that they found in the main square with it’s leg mangled, without any hair, completely emaciated. They brought it in to the vets to be put to sleep, but the vets insisted they could save her. She is now named Victoria, only has three legs but is beautiful with shining blonde hair and lovely eyes. For saying that life (and humans) had treated her so badly, she is incredibly loving, trusting and good natured! It really makes your heart break.
Last night three sisters from the hall popped around to say that they wanted to have to party for the new need greaters that have joined the group....but they need a place to have it (any excuse for a party) so they are hosting it at our place on Wednesday night. Should be fun.
Our new place isn’t available till Sunday so we are here a couple of extra nights and then will move out after the meeting. We can’t wait!
So much to say, so little time and space today. I will update more regularly once we are in our new place with the internet at home.