Sunday, May 14, 2006

Lagalevu (Long-a-lay-voo)

April 12, 2006

Today my team went to a village called Lagalevu. The name means 'big leg'--derived from an Elephantitis outbreak. It was a small village, and there were only six surgeries, plus an ear tag on an already-neutered male. Some of the dogs were chasing the chickens and the men would chase the dogs and kick them if they got the chance. It made me nauseous to see that. The dogs weren't hurt, but it goes against everything I know. But then, cuddling the dogs, as we do, is against everything they know. All we can do is demonstrate the love and caring that we have toward these creatures, and perhaps we will educate them. At the same time, if a dog chases and kills a chicken, the family may be without meat or eggs.

Again, we were served tea. This time though, the villagers didn't sit with us, but close enough for us to chat. One of then men, named Edward, had been in the British Army. He had trained in London and then gone to serve in Northern Ireland. He had also travelled to Vancouver. We asked if it was difficult to be back after having been to the big city. He said no, he realized that he had much living to do, and may not get to do it in the armed forces. He said he enjoyed being on 'Fiji time'.

We met up with the other two teams who were together in one large village. They had done a total of 15 surgeries. They were just having thier lunch, so we st with them while they ate.

It was still fairly early in the afternoon, so we went back to Vunisei, as there were many dogs that were not done the day we were there. We had six more dogs--two adults and four pups. The pups were unbelievably flea-ridden and weak. We weren't sure they would survive the surgery, but it was better to give them a chance than possibly subject them to a poisoning later. It was very hard for me to be involved with those four--they were so small and weak. A critter shouldn't have to start out life like that. They were completely anemic from fleas. They all survived the surgery, but I cried for them as we left the village.

I went for a walk by myself down the beach when we got 'home'. Just needed some time to come down from the stress of the day. I am getting tired--we all are. Just one more work day.

(Note: We got word before we left on April 16th that all four pups were doing well.)

No comments:


Donate Now Through!