January 31, 2011

i'm back

Apologies to the handful of readers who still check the blog. Things have been busy/rough to say the least, but you're not reading this to hear excuses, so onto the show.

In December, I had the opportunity to go to Nicaragua and Costa Rica to do some volunteer veterinary work. Overall it was an amazing experience as I got to see vet medicine practiced in other countries, learn some clinical skills, and practice my high school level spanish =) The trip definitely made me reflect on how I live in the U.S. as well as what kind of work I wanted to do in the future...
Here's a few of my favorite pictures that I took in Nicaragua.
We flew into Managua, but stayed at an orphanage on Ometepe Island, off the east coast.
My roommate
Here, we worked with large animals, mostly Brahmin cattle as well as some horses and goats, all of which were suffering from malnutrition. Having pretty much no experience w/ LA, I was more than happy to learn.
The meals that I had here at the orphanage were my favorites of the whole trip. You just can't beat a home cooked meal. The ladies working would make lunch and bring it to us at the worksite, something everyone looked forward to. Lots of rice and beans, a cabbage slaw, fried plantains, and some kind of protein, here chicken. Being that Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere, I did not expect to eat so well over there.
We also go a chance to learn and do some castrations. After a friend finished neutering a bull, the owner requested the testicles. A few minutes later, I walked by, only to see him slicing it up with a machete and tossing it back w/ some salt and lime. I was curious to know how it tasted, but given the fact that we did the surgery with a local anesthetic, I really didn't want to ingest lidocaine.
Had to try their beer here. It tasted like a lighter/bubblier version of Heineken.
And if you know anything about me, you know that I love soup....something my team soon learned. Here was a fish soup, the stock a bit on the bland side.
And I had it almost every time we went out to eat. Seafood soup complete w/ lobster tail. This was on the other end, really really rich.
And the chicken soup was just right...a very homey and simple soup.
Quite the gathering...
Can you see the two little hooves coming out of mama cow?
I could really see that the kids in the orphanage were loved and had a strong connection to the place. Amidst all the bs and horrible things that we see depicted daily on the news, it was refreshing to see something positive for a change.
The last night, they threw a good bye party for us, where the kids performed, and went all out with a pinata, cake, and ice cream. I'm not quite sure what kind of cake it was (banana breadish), but it certainly was delicious.
Once the pinata hit the floor, it was every man, woman and child for themselves.
The island was a beautiful place, and it felt quite odd to be swimming out there in the middle of December (not that I'm complaining). A week here and we were off to Costa Rica.

6 rah rah rahs:

Meandering Eats said...

Yay! You're back! Oh, I love Costa Rica... your trip sounded like a wonderful experience. I knew you were in Davis for school, but didn't know it was vet school! Whew! That's so awesome. Good luck with everything!

Dennis K. said...

Wow what a great experience you had sawyer!! Awesome photos. Hope you're doing well mang. ;)

kirbie said...

Welcome back! Wow, you've been busy! Great photos!

Mary said...

Awesome photos! I like the photo of your roommate, too :) Traveling is always an enriching experience - so welcome back!

Carol said...

What a cool trip! Glad you enjoyed going abroad and loved the pictures. Hope you had some time off when you got back.

KirkK said...

Hey Sawyer - Love the photos! Looks like a great room-mate.....though having the bull as you roomie might have been interesting! ;o)I'm glad you've found time to post with your busy schedule.

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