Today was a slower paced day in small animal veterinary care. We were in a small village of Los lamos, or something that sounds like that. As you know I am an expert in espaniol and in fact I am teaching new words to the people, or at least words they have never heard before. When you mix English, a little French from high school, a titch of Spanish, and a Yankee accent, you get something that sounds spanglishench-ish, which apparently no one understands but it must tick off the dogs and roosters. However little Ostali and I see and hear things the right way, and he laughs with me, not at me, even if he doesn’t understand anything other than baca verde.
This trip we have 2 large animal vets with us, Dr Mark who is a mixed animal solo practioner from Texas, who is a big guy with a bigger heart, and Dr Justin, an equine practioner also from Texas. If they think I have an accent… Well having them here makes it great for me, especially Dr Justin, because otherwise I would be doing some horse work, and that would not be beneficial. He did a cryptorchid surgery on a horse today, and could not find the hidden biscuit, but he gave it a good try, something I would not have done. Most of what we do is teach, guide, and encourage the students, 8 veterinary students and 5 vet tech students. They each rotate thru the different groups, so they all get an opportunity to work with the different animals. They are very quick learners, dedicated, and always cheerful and trying to help each other. The first day they are nervous and feel a little intimidated, for good reason, as they have never done a spay before or worked around cows and horses that are a bit on the wild side. But very quickly they pick up on the details and technique, always asking questions and learning. It is such a pleasure to watch them complete their first catheter placement, anesthesia dose calculation and administration, or surgical procedure. Of course I probably don’t help by mentioning that if they figured it wrong or make a mistake they can have minor complications, like death and stuff like that, but you know how I like to stay on the positive side. Then they have to take pictures and post them online and send them to their parents to justify all the money they spent on vet school and vet med mission trips. Their enthusiasm is infectious, in a good way, not in a contagious disease way, which is always a little on your mind when you have tropical diseases all around, like that show monsters inside us, that cause unpleasant symptoms, like death and things like that, but so far we have been spared.
As I mentioned, the food is very good, with rice and beans, fresh fruit and juice, rice and beans, and fresh hot corn tortillas, chicken or ground beef, and rice and beans. The houses are very simple: brick, wood, clay shingles, no insulation, plumbing or electrical needed, and an outhouse. Oh yeah, the outhouse. Now in general I don’t mind outhouses. But for some reason most girls do, like some kind of genetic defect. Growing up, my daughters feared the outhouse, like something was going to come up out of the whole and bite them. How ridiculous is that. Boys on the other hand think it is kind of fun, like a carnival funhouse contest, and besides we can usually stand at a distance just to be sure. Well, in Nicaragua they don’t have those plastic portable, chemical filled, regularly emptied (well most of the time) outhouses. They dig a deep hole, put a cement throne on it, and use it for awhile, a long while, until it fills up. And they have things down here that like those holes, matter of fact, they feel so good about that hole that they make it their permanent home, like a well fortified castle with a constant stream of nutrients. And it must meet all of those bugs daily nutritional requirements because they grow big and strong and ugly. And eventually everyone, even boys, have to sit down, and when you see things that look like cockroaches that are the size of small mice, well it is enough to give anyone the willies. We heard more than one scream coming from that outhouse. I used to love that movie “It” by Steven King where this evil clown pops out of sinks and sewers and toilets and eats little children, but I think I have changed my mind. It hits close to home now. There are some things that are better left unseen and unspoken, and that’s one of them. Now I am not trying to gross anyone out, as I would never do that just ask my daughters, but I just want to give you a truthful picture of life in the countryside. You might even thank me for it one day.
The weather has been very difficult, sunny, mid eighties, low humidity, the kind of weather that skiers hate, but I am doing ok, thanks for asking. Well it is time to go to bed, and since we came back to Oscar and Tamy’s this afternoon, we should have a quiet night, no roosters or rabid dogs, and flush toilets! And no clowns, I really don’t want to see any clowns!