Tuesday, May 02, 2006


April 8th, 2006

Our team went to Vo's village today--Daku. Terrils team stayed at the resort and Zacchariah brought dogs from his village (a 20 minute hike) to the resort. Donna's team went to Venusei, which was very close to Daku.

We were taken to Vo's families house as soon as we arrived. We ere invited in for juice and bread while Vo went and arranged a space for us. He got a table and set us up under a palm tree on the beach. Within minutes we had about 6 dogs and a kitten waiting. We went to work and had 10 surgeries done by noon--nine dogs and a cat. We were brought cookies and juice mid-morning, and Vo's wife made us a beautiful lunch of chicken and noodles. We continued on with three more cats after lunch--unfortunately one of them died. There it heartworm disease here, so it is possible (even likely) that he had it, and the anesthesia was too much of a stress on his heart. The owner was not very upset, just very grateful for the fact that we had come. She had two female cats whose surgeries went fine. Gord, Sarah and I felt terrible of course. We had prepared ourselves for the possibility, but preparation doesn't make it easier.

Me, with a new friend

After we were finished surgery, we were asked to join the villagers for kava. We had to wait for the other teams to come and pick us up. We laughed and sang, and painted fingernails with the polish we had brought (even some of the guys obliged!!!)We waited for an hour and a half, and Sarah and I both had too much and felt very sick afterwards. But once again, we felt so welcomed by the people. They just bring you in as though you are family. Sarah and I walked to the bathroom, and we each had a 3 year old attached to us for the walk. The kids just crawled all over us, sat in our laps. One boy got all dressed up in a tie and suit jacket to serve us lunch. They are very loving childre--many instances of the older ones caring for the younger. They also make up their own fun--some took a rope and a stick and 'fished' for Gord's shoes while we were visiting. We took many pictures and they were all happy to oblige.

Vo with his 2 daughters, and Bate

On our walk through the village one of the kids dragged us towards the church--we were invited in by the Sunday school teachers and made to sit. They sang a song they were practicing for tomorrow--Palm Sunday. Once again, I marveled at the incredible harmonies. We didn't want to interrupt their rehearsal, so we thanked them and excused ourselves. They will go so far out of their way to be welcoming, even if it disrupts their day it seems.

We got back to the resort and compared stories. Terril's team did 10, Beths's 12, and ours 13. We exceeded our goal of 30! It was a great day. We played a bit of cards and had dinner. I am writing this at 8:45pm, and we are already in bed! Long days and hard work, but a good tired. Tomorrow we go to Zacchariah's village for church!

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