David Beutel, June 17, 2014, Tanzania

Today was our second day of surgeries.  We stayed near Morogoro today in a small village called Forest Village.  Professor Muhairwa was not with us today but Anton and Nickson both were.  We set up our “surgery suite” right outside the house of Peter, a very nice older gentleman who spoke decent English.  This was the first of just a couple times that we actually set up right in someone’s yard rather than in an open common area. Right outside the gate to this man’s house was one of many fruit and vegetable stands (usually also containing dried fish) that we saw during our time in Tanzania.  Everywhere we went there were people selling fruit on the side of the road, the bananas (the only fruit that I believe we bought from these stands) were very delicious.  Also, right across the road was a few small buildings, one of which had a very large pool table sitting next to it.  It seemed to be a popular attraction as there were a number of young men and boys hanging out by it and playing pool.

Roadside produce stand in Tanzania

Roadside produce stand

Although there was no one there with their dogs when we got there, people did start trickling in after we got set up.   However, the crowd was considerably smaller than it was yesterday.  There weren’t near as many kids hanging around and watching us as there was yesterday.   We performed four castrations and three spays total for the day, all of which went well.  As was the case yesterday, there were more dogs that came for just vaccinations rather than actual surgeries. Since there were just the seven surgeries, we ended in good time in the afternoon. After the surgeries, Mary and little Peter, the grandson of the man whose house we were working outside of, spent some time drawing pictures and writing in the sand while we waited for the last dog to wake up from anesthesia.

Veterinary students and surgeon at canine surgical station in Tanzania

Surgery station with Dr. Bennett (right)

Once the dog was awake enough and Mary and Peter had their fill of playing in the sand, we headed back towards our hotel.  I am going to just add here that some of the roads to these little villages are extremely bumpy.  I think that it is safe to say that we drove on some of the bumpiest/most holey roads I have ever been on in my life while here. There were a number of chickens, along with the one duck, running free around the area.  This was common not only in Forest Village but almost everywhere we went.  The chickens would run around and eat whatever they could find.