December 16, 2009

day 2

Many thanks to B for miscalculating the Daylight Savings time/Galapageñean time change – I was up at (what was thought to be) 8am, and in a hot panic to throw on clothes to be at the clinic ASAP. As I was throwing things into my backpack, I heard a faint “beep beep beep” – from my Blackberry alarm (good for only that in the Galapagos – thanks Verizon for “Global” service) – which was set for 7:30am. I then recalled a moment yesterday that B commented his clock was wrong, and had a nice laugh at his expense ;-)

Breakfast was at the other coffee shop on the street, and I noticed that my favorite island experience was somewhat missing… Prior trips to San Cristobal were filled with sea lions – carpeting the beaches, flopping on the rocks, barking and snorting in chourus with crashing waves. I scanned the boardwalk and didn’t see a single one. When I looked over the sea wall, I saw maybe 3 or 4 in the water or on the beach – compared to the dozens I saw 6 months ago!

Apparently breeding season is coming up, but it did seem a bit odd to not have as many ashore this time of year. I thought it was perhaps from all of the Christmas decorations along the boardwalk, but one other possibility was if this was/is an El Nino year. Whatever it is, it made me sad to not see all of my barking and flopping sea lions on San Cristobal :'-(

We had a slow but successful day in the clinic – no deaths!! After yesterday, it was a blessing to have no issues. We sterilized 21 dogs and cats, and treated one very badly hit by car puppy, who had some nasty tearing and scalding to her flank and practically a degloved rear hock. Anesthesia is a wonderful thing, and after a few doses of narcotics, she was sound asleep and ready for surgery. After a mess of clipping, scrubbing, and dust-bustering, B placed a drain in the flank and repaired the hock (which had broken the joint capsule but not the bone). Wound dressing became an issue, as there were no Telfa pads to be found – again, B McGuiver to the rescue – Anna and I went off the local pharmacy/corner store to find feminine hygiene pads with non-stick, absorbent lining. The man at the counter looked at us like crazy people when we had him bring out every brand/style of pad for us to inspect. But it worked like a last-minute, home-made Telfa pad dream!

After a long day of surgery, cleaning, prepping and organizing, we (finally) met with the Dutch filmmakers who are coming to film the clinic tomorrow for their Darwin documentary (we are part of the Galapagos/invasive species bit). It was nice to have dinner with English-speaking people (although mi español is pretty mejor after a few days ;-) and hear of their adventures around the globe thus far. They are re-creating Darwin’s voyage of the Beagle, and their time in the Galapagos is being spent documenting the changes brought about by humans and other invasive species. I didn’t get the impression they truly understood the complexity and challenge of the Galapagos – I don’t think anyone really does until they experience it first hand. It should be interesting to see what they want/can document, although I get the impression that what they’re looking for, we already fixed a few years back. Oh well… it should be interesting and we will all look great on camera (thanks to lovely uniforms that were custom tailored by the man around the corner from CIMEI). Hair, makeup and coffee is at 7am. Time for beauty sleep…

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