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8,824 Miles in 24 Hours

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8,824 Miles in 24 Hours

Dawn, Arnie, and Alyssa (left to right) in the Newark airport before boarding a flight to Mumbai.

After nearly 24 hours of travel, we have arrived at our home for the next 2 weeks during the Mission Rabies Goa vaccine drive.

Our travels got off to a bumpy start, as Hurricane Michael delayed several flights, but 4 of us (me, Dawn, Claudia, and Arnie) were finally able to meet up in Newark, New Jersey.

Like me, Dawn is a veterinarian and works for Brief Media, the company that publishes Clinician's Brief, and she will be my roommate in Goa. Claudia is a shelter veterinarian from North Carolina. Both Claudia and Dawn have participated in Mission Rabies drives in Malawi, Africa in previous years. Arnie, a retired veterinarian, recently sold his specialty feline practice in New York and now travels the world. India will be the 40th country Arnie has visited.

A herd of water buffalo outside the window of our hotel.
A herd of water buffalo outside the window of our hotel.

A herd of water buffalo outside the window of our hotel.

After a 14-hour flight, we arrived in Mumbai, but we still had another leg of travel to go. We landed in Goa at 3:20am local time. While our driver, Tushar, packed our bags in the back of the car, Claudia almost climbed into the driver’s seat before remembering that the driver’s seat is on the right-hand side of the car in India! The 1-hour drive to the hotel was chaotic, with construction, barricades, and detours everywhere. Even in the middle of the night, there was a lot of traffic. Like all the other drivers on the road, Tushar was speeding and honking and driving on the shoulder to avoid hazards and other vehicles. Street signs flying past the window and lane markers seemed to be merely guidelines to be ignored. In order to keep my mind off the road, I started counting the street dogs that we saw.

Of course, I expected there to be dogs. That is, after all, why we are here! But I was somehow still surprised to see them sleeping just outside the airport doors or roaming in small packs along the side of the road. We counted 36 dogs on the trip from the airport to the hotel and I’m sure we missed just as many since it was very dark and difficult to see.

We arrived at our hotel as the sun was just starting to rise—the view from our room is nothing short of breathtaking. Stay tuned! —Alyssa Watson

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Alyssa Watson, DVM, graduated from Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2003. Dr. Watson is currently an associate veterinarian at Northwest Animal Hospital in Las Vegas. In addition to clinical practice, Dr. Watson is a medical editor for Clinician's Brief. Dr. Watson’s professional interests include canine and feline dermatology, reproduction, and soft tissue surgery. When not at the hospital, she is apt to be enjoying the outdoors with her husband and their two young sons.

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