The people here love to celebrate and have festivals with lots of color and music and fireworks and drums and noise. Last night they had a good one that marched right outside outside our cabins. They especially love fireworks, but only the loud boom kind, I have not seen any of the color burst kind. And drums, they like those too. And last night was no exception. Except it wasn’t last night, it was this morning. And not like early morning ,12:20am or something normal like that. But like stupid rooster who doesnt know how to tell time and just wants to wake people up kind of morning. The kind where you are woken from a sound sleep by bombs and yelling and drums and you are not sure what’s going on because no one starts a noisy parade at this time of morning. It was 4:00 am, on the dot, like it was planned by those roosters. But now we know the truth. It was the people who train their animals by example and then the animals think it is alright to make a lot of noise anytime, but especially when gringos are near. I mean who starts a festival with fireworks and a parade at 4 am? Maybe they don’t have clocks, or maybe they think that it is east coast time which is 2 hours earlier and they get confused, or maybe they just like to bother us because it is fun. But I don’t like this fun. I think sleep is fun. I wake up happy and not sleepy and grumpy. Maybe tonight we should all get up and bang pots and pans and hoot and holler like its a college football day at Oklahoma or something noisy like that, but at 3 am and see how they like it. But we would all sleep thru it because we are too tired. I know that does not sound Christian, but I am just expressing my inner feelings, because they certainly do anytime of the day or night.

Well we put it all behind us, and went to our destination today, which was a small town about an hour and 20 minutes away, but it took a little longer because of our smoking brakes, but we figured that out pretty quick (you can’t drive with the emergency brake slightly on) and got there ok. Today was mostly dogs, with some pigs, rabbits, and cats sprinkled in. We spayed 12 dogs, 3 cats, and dewormed and applied topical flea and tick medicine to about 100 animals, and treated a bunch of sick dogs. The students do most of the work, with Mark and Adelaide and I bossing, I mean guiding, them around. They are learning very quickly and can now do a spay that would have taken them 8 hours with a 3 ft incision, in 45 minutes with a 3 inch incision. Most of the treatments are quick and quiet, except for the pigs, who must have been taught by the roosters, how to make noise. Because they are LOUD, like lawn mower loud, like you are torturing them with knives loud, and even if you just touch them they Squeal like a pig, which should not be surprising, except for the volume, which is well, loud. While we are working on the animals, Caitlin, Emily, and Alex, minister and play with the children, coloring, playing games, and handing out candy. Everyone likes them. And Oscar and Tamy will talk with the adults and help them and encourage them, and they come back every week and have a bible study with them. And these clinics help them reach out to new people and give them a chance to talk with them and invite them to church or to a bible study. So they can build their relationships with the people. That is the best part, and they are making a difference, as they see changed lives.

Our day started out nice and calm and dry, but just like a faucet the rainy season started again, and we got nice and wet. But, not being one to complain, we pressed on and got everything done. It was a good productive day. We stopped at the roadside stand to buy more ketamine, but it is still hard to understand how you can have a shortage of running water, electricity, and good clocks, but you can buy a controlled anesthetic like ketamine at a stand without a license. Go figure.

Well tomorrow, which is Saturday here, we will do another clinic somewhere. And I will put on my happy face, which is the one that is not sleepy, and go to work. And maybe I will learn some new surgical techniques, like vocal cordectomies on birds and pigs, and practice. Or maybe we will just have pork and chicken for lunch. I would like that too.

Until tomorrow, blessings from Catarina
Dr Mike