So you are back, wondering with just a touch of sarcastic humor if we actually slept last night. Well I am glad to report that the animals in Quebrada Onda were much more educated and civilized than in El Naranjo. The dogs did not bark unless asked, and the roosters could tell time and would start their cock a doodle doo at the acceptable time of 20 min before daybreak. They need to start a little grade school for those uneducated critters in the other town, but I am feeling a little better now that I have had some sleep, but I would still eat one if I had the chance – not the dogs though, that would not be right. When I got up this morning and came back from a walk, a bull, with large horns, decided he liked my cot, and claimed it as his own. I evaluated my options and decided he could have it, but I was hoping he would not try to use it, which he didn’t, and he finally walked off after he left me a large present, which I graciously accepted as I did not want to make him mad at me too.

I took a little walk in the morning to see some of the countryside. The land has a lot of mid sized mountains and is very rocky. It is the dry season, so there is no green on the ground, unless it has big thorns to protect it. The animals are all very skinny, almost emaciated by our standards. They are in survival mode until the rainy season, when the grass and food starts growing and they can fatten up. They forage on any small thing they can eat. All the creeks are completely dry, except for the small river we swam in. The rainy season normally starts the beginning of May, but it is late this year, and they need it to start soon. Well, they no longer need to wait, because it started today, 11:30 am to be exact, as we were doing our small animal surgeries. Outdoors. On us. It made for interesting surgeries, but a little extra water in the incision should not hurt anything, we hope. We had to move the surgery table inside, but it was very hot, muggy, and dark, so we would move it outside when it cleared up, only to have it sneak up and rain again, almost like it was planned by those sneaky roosters or something. The large animal team had the right idea, as they were doing their spays outside and they just stayed outdoors and smiled thru the wet and rain, which really must have bugged those roosters. We spayed 10 or 11 dogs and castrated a pig or 2, and dewormed a bunch more, then had lunch and packed up and came back to Catarina for a wonderful swim and meal. The students are all great, they all have a very good attitude, get along great, work hard, play hard, and are a real pleasure to be with. Caitlin and Emily are helping out and drawing up all the dewormers and vaccines, and even giving the injections, and helping with the spays. As we get into the towns later this week there will be more kids, and then they will be busy with them.

We are all really enjoying this mission, getting the chance to live in small villages with no electricity or running water or reality tv shows, and we get the chance to see how rich the people really are. Rich in relationships, in culture, and in spirit. We learn more from them than they do from us. This is a good mission. I am glad we came. Once I reach out and touch a few more of those roosters, I will feel more complete. Until then,

Blessings from Catarina
Dr Mike