And then the rain came...
Jemma Sadler reports from Goa
Many things have changed since I last wrote - starters my departure date from Goa! Originally I had my flight booked for 1st April, but after much thought and deliberation I have decided to brave the monsoon and stay until the end of September! I have been warned about ’May Madness,’ when it gets so hot that some people go ’mad’ (I think I’m already there, so no worries for me). I have been advised to smile sweetly at people and not get into any confrontational situations!
Expansion at Animal Tracks I have now been appointed as Animal Welfare Manager at Animal Tracks and therefore have far more responsibility. It’s a very busy life, at times stressful, at times sad, but mainly rewarding and hopeful! Particularly in the next six months with the construction of the new ’intensive care’ and orthopaedic surgery plus, a separate cat and dog run and an aviary!
Goa - a 16 week old ginger and white kitten who has been adopted by Thierry Bordot, a Frenchman residing in the UK, who fell in love with her whilst traveling here. With the help of IAR, we arranged for her to fly to the UK from Mumbai. The arrangements for her transport and veterinary care were complicated and at times hairy! But she is now safe and happy in quarantine in the UK awaiting her final destination - home with Thierry!
Genevieve Samson from the UK has been here volunteering for the last four weeks and as this was her second trip at Animal Tracks, she is very committed to helping IAR in a hands-on capacity here in Goa and helps out behind the scenes back in the UK - even though she has a full-time job with Ford Financial. She has been a tremendous help with administration and promoting the Animal Tracks. There seems to be no end to her talents, which include: implementing and designing new forms to ensure the veterinary team are kept organised and informed of priorities and also an essential information sheet to give out to potential adopters of puppies. This helps them to understand the full impact of what they are taking on. Plus designing new posters to promote our work at hotels and restuarants, plus designing a special mat to go in the back of the rescue ambulances that helps make the journey for badly injured dogs more comfortable. We have also introduced a new system for our volunteers that highlights the temperament of each dog, so that we can match skills to animals! But most importantly, I think Gen has prevented me having a nervous breakdown on about 5 occasions during her stay! Thanks Gen!
Trojan is a UK band that had been touring in Goa have offered to help with fundraising and invited us along to their ’gig’ at Anjuna flea market. Not only did Trojan help us to raise over £150, they were also lovely people and we had a brilliant time! When the band visited Animal Tracks they were very pleased that in recognition of their support, we named our newest resident kitten after them! Trojan the cat has a deformed foot and would not survive on the street. Thanks guys!
Kee-ha the crow is another new resident. Brought to the centre by a tourist who found him on the street. After a couple of days we came to the conclusion that he was blind, although a very happy bird who loves human attention and is quite content just to sit on top of his cage and squawk at anyone who enters! We have decided to build Kee-ha an aviary here at the center so he can live the rest of his days with us!
It has therefore been a busy few months with many strange and wonderful things happening - which is the norm out here! I will send more news during the monsoon, assuming that we are not plunged into darkness by power cuts - which is also the norm. I have been told that I should be able to send email, of course that’s assuming the phone lines, electricity and server all work at the same time... I am wondering what have I let myself in for!