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Concluding the Static Clinics

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Concluding the Static Clinics

I can’t believe we’re already on our last week in Zomba—time has flown by. We’ve spent the last few days working in static clinics and trekking door-to-door, as usual, and Wednesday will be our last door-to-door day. We all begin traveling home early on Thursday. I am thrilled to share that the number of vaccinations this year have far exceeded those administered last year! So proud to be working with this team.

Static Clinics

Saturday and Sunday were the final days for static clinics. On Sunday, we got to chat with Debs and Paul, the Mission Rabies coordinators for the Zomba drive, when they brought their dogs, Henry and Chibonga, to be vaccinated. Debs and Paul have done an incredible job, and they always do it with a smile. 

Debs and Paul with their dogs

Debs and Paul with their dogs

This week I am working with the Lion team, which means I get to work with Yamikani again! He, Isaac, and I work very well together and have a lot of laughs. Our driver, Kingsley, likes to listen to Dolly Parton. On Sunday morning, while driving to our static clinic, we all sang “If You Think About Love” very loudly with the windows down.

At one of our static clinics, I met a woman named Joelle, who brought her dogs, Tinkerbell and Kiera, to be vaccinated. She spoke fluent English and insisted on speaking English instead of Chichewa. She told me she and her family have learned English from watching cartoons on BBC. 

Jessie with Joelle

Jessie with Joelle

One evening, after candlelight dinner and showers (the power went out again), we gathered outside with glasses of gin—Malawi gin is some of the best I’ve ever had—and played Vets Against Insanity, a hilarious card game specifically for veterinary professionals. We all laughed so hard and had a great time exchanging stories and catching up after our long work days.

Door-to-Door

Monday and Tuesday were full door-to-door days, from 7 am to around 4 pm. Most teams walked between 5 and 9 miles per day. Even though temperatures were around 75 degrees, I felt like I was roasting! 

On Tuesday, Shelley’s team, the Crocodiles, visited a home that seemed to belong to a breeder. Over the course of about an hour, they vaccinated a total of 40 dogs: 27 puppies and 13 adults. The dogs were well treated and seemed to be cared for. Most of the dogs appeared to be large-breed dogs.

At lunch time during door-to-door days, we typically drive to the shops and restaurants in town. Our lodge packs lunches (including a soda) for the volunteers and our locals find lunch within the market. We sometimes eat in the car and other times we choose to sit in a restaurant. 

Tomorrow will be our last door-to-door day. It is hard to believe 2 weeks have passed—I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the volunteers, have had a great time catching up with Fred (the liaison between Brief Media and Mission Rabies), and enjoyed getting to know Jo, Debs, and Paul better! 

Thank you so much for following along with our journey. Shelley and I will be on the road home at 5:30 am on Thursday, with a long road ahead of us. Be sure to check back for more information about our trip—and to make sure we all make it home, of course—and watch for upcoming opportunities to serve with Mission Rabies. It’s truly an incredible experience.—Jessie Foley

JESSIE FOLEY has a degree in veterinary technology from Cedar Valley College, as well as a degree in advertising and public relations from University of Arkansas. She was previously on the veterinary nurse team at University of Tennessee Veterinary Teaching Hospital. Foley plays a key role in Brief Media's partnership with Mission Rabies. In 2018, she joined the Mission Rabies vaccine drive in Malawi for her third year.

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