Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Experience of a Lifetime

Home, safe and sound, tired and tanned. What an amazing experience! I consider myself very fortunate to have been on this project. We experienced Fiji as few tourists get to. We met many wonderful people who were so grateful to us for coming. And yet we felt so grateful to have been allowed to come and help them and their dogs and cats. We performed 201 surgeries in 18 villages in the almost 2 weeks we were there. We helped to save many dogs from the pain of a strychnine poisoning death. Not just those we sterilized, but the puppies they will never have. What a privilege.

I kept a journal everyday of the activities of our group, and specifically my team of 2 techs, myself (Kirsten) and Sarah, and vet Gord. Over the next week or so, I will post my journal writings, with pictures. I hope you enjoy the trip!

April 2nd, 2006

Our flight leaves a little late at 7:50pm. We met at the airport at 2pm to give us time to redistribute the weight among team members, as the supplies were many. Needles, syringes, some medications (many were purchased through the Fiji SPCA), gauze. Also many gifts for the village children--soccer balls, candy, books, crayons, pencils, toothbrushes, hairbrushes, nail polish. There was a fair bit of turbulence on the way up, (much to my dismay--I don't like flying much!), but then settled in for a beautiful flight.

We landed in Honolulu at 10:32 local time. It was a great flight--a bit of turbulence just before beginning our descent. There was just a sliver of moon visible--it was just below us as we started to descend, and then all of a sudden it was above us. Beautiful. Clear and 23C. An hour and 15min stopover. We looked around a bit in the garden, but it was too dark to see much, and the mosquitoes were terrible.

Our flight left Honolulu just on time. I watched a bit of the movie, but fell asleep soon, and slept most of the way. About 30 min outside of Nadi we had MAJOR turbulence! Most I have ever felt, and I was quite scared--until Terrill looked over his shoulder from a seat in front of me and threw up his arms like he was on a roller coaster. Then I was laughing too hard to be worried, and it smoothed out quite quickly. We landed almost right on time. We have until noon in Nadi, so we will pick up our luggage and find some breakfast!

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