DAY 9Today, we began with a hearty breakfast and then prepared to head out, thanking our hosts profusely and petting as many of the animals good-bye as would sit still for it. I had a hard time leaving Mina—I doubt she'll survive for me to see again if I go back next year. Still, she was a darn happy dog, so I can't be too sad.The ride back to Guatemala City was uneventful, (if you can call darting through the sketchy traffic patterns while oogling far-off volcanoes uneventful), and made it to Dr. Dennis's bar unscathed.Have I mentioned that Dennis has a bar?
So I posted this on Facebook, but figured I should post it here too so the family can see it. :)As some of you might know, I've been working to adopt a cat through a classmate, and had very few qualifiers about the kind of cat I wanted. Basically, I wanted it to be old, and I wanted it to be black, as those are two traits that can make it more difficult for a cat to be adopted out.However, when I went on the website of the place I planned to adopt from, a sweet old marmalade girl caught my eye.
Still working on finishing up my Guatemala blog series (so close!), so I thought I'd share something from professor in my Intro to Surgery class.For those of you who don't know, the proper preparation for sterile surgery is COMPLICATED, but there are a few aspects that stick out and make a little more sense. For example, after the thorough hand- and forearm-washing process (which can take a whole 10 minutes), you need to keep your washed bits in a square in front of you.
Guatemala: Day 8On our very first day of no work, I woke up at the leisurely hour of 9 to the smell of frying baking and percolating coffee, rolled over my mosquito-free enclosure, and let the sweet calls of tropical birds pull towards wakefulness.Just kidding.I got up at 5:15 am with everybody else so we could go on another adventure. Sans breakfast.Now, if you'll recall my mood of the previous day, you might anticipate that I greeted the idea of another adventure with less than my usual vigor. You would be correct.
IMPT NOTE: If anyone from my trip reads this all the way through, I really hope you got my message that it was AWESOME and I regret NOTHING and I certainly don't blame anyone for my bad moods or behavior. The following blog is explanatory, not accusatory.Our second work day in Monterrico went very similarly to our first, except for the fact that by this point in the trip, homesickness and an introverted need to be in MY SPACE ALONE for a decent span of time was beginning to notably affect me.
Guatemala: Day 6 Waking up at 6:30 am on the beach was much nicer than waking up at 6:30 am pretty much anywhere else, except for the fact that it got COLD during the night. Hurriedly shoving my hair into a ponytail and pulling on clothes that hadn't actually been washed for longer than I cared to remember (I always seemed to be too tired to care about personal hygiene that would be demolished during the day), I stumbled out into the sunlight in search of hot coffee.
I took too long to keep up with blog (with good reason, as you will see!), which means I can no longer describe every single detail of my day. Sorry, guys—I know how riveting my breakfasts are. Today we went to Chimaltenango, which basically means “City of Chemal,” but I didn't see a single Chimal anywhere. (Problem: I'm not sure Chimals are a real thing). The year before, hardly anyone had shown up for this clinic day with their pets, so we were rather surprised to find 5-10 dogs already waiting with their owners when we arrived.
'Today we began with a meal that while delicious, did not severely challenge my sense of comfort--pancakes! Also, each meal has been accompanied by a fresh mystery juice. I call it a "mystery" because I don't ask what it is before I taste it, to see if I can guess. Today was papaya, and each different juice has been delicious. Ooh, something I forgot to talk about yesterday--remember the crazy lady? In order to not be attacked by the machete that she famously wields, Darby enlisted a couple of kind village women to help as negotiators when he went to speak with her.
'This morning, we set out for our second village, Yalu (pronounced Jah-loo). Did I mention before how strange the juxtaposition is between our temporary residence here and these villages? We live in first-world accommodations, but a scant 30 minutes away we are plunged into a third-world area that's really just blowing my mind. Our little public building in Yalu had no running water at all, and we race the daylight in order to get as many spays and neuters done as possible (25 today!).
'Okay, guys, this won't be my best bit of writing. It's 11:00 pm on Thursday and I am tired, but I figure I'll forget some of the details if I don't type things out now. It's been an awesome trip so far, despite some inauspicious beginnings.Getting up at 3:45 am Wednesday morning, I began my 3-leg journey to Guatemala, during which I would also switch airlines. It was...well, interesting. Let's start with my baggage check-in.