Arriving in Haiti is not unlike arriving into any other bustling city - a hive of activity with people going about their everyday business. It’s hot and loud with a menagerie of sights that are fascinating. Gerardo and Franco met me in the busy crowd of people waiting for other passengers to come through immigration at the airport. Then, we set off to a community on the outskirts of Port au Prince, where the ARCH vet team was working.
It took hours to get through all the traffic (I don’t even know how the UN tanks could fit along some of those streets!) And, although I had heard about and seen pictures of the temporary camps established along the road, nothing quite prepares you for the sea of tents and the “crammed in” feeling you get just by looking at them.
Once we arrived at the site, the team was already working on a number of animals - namely goats and pigs. Owners trailed around the corner, waiting to get their pets vaccinated...along with a whole load of people (mostly little children) lining up to catch a glimpse of the ARCH vets in action. It was truly an amazing site to see!
There was a very funny moment when I turned around and saw a little boy carrying his goat over to the team. The goat was more than half the size of the little boy and, yet, he was able to bring the animal all the way over to the treatment area by himself. Apparently, he did not want the goat to run away from getting his vaccinations!
It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is the last day that the clinic will be operating under ARCH. We plan to hold a ceremony for the team to congratulate them on all their hard work and dedication to the recovery of Haitian animals and their communities. More to come soon!