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Upon Arrival: Getting Settled in Malawi

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Upon Arrival: Getting Settled in Malawi

We arrived in Malawi on May 11, 2017, after 4 planes and countless shuttles. Stepping out into the warm Malawi afternoon was a relief after enduring so many hours of travel. A 45-minute drive from the airport delivered us to Fisherman’s Rest, where Dawn and I were able to unpack and get settled in.

Dawn and I share a spacious room in the Tea House, which is about a mile from the main house. After a much-needed dinner, we both were in bed by 8:30 pm—we slept for about 10 hours!

Part of the team on safari at Majete Wildlife Reserve

Part of the team on safari at Majete Wildlife Reserve

A Visit to the Wildlife Park

On May 12, 2017, our first full day in Malawi, the volunteers all venture to Majete Wildlife Reserve for the day. We have the opportunity to go on safari, eat lunch, and maybe take a swim at the park. When we arrived at the park, we split into two groups for the safari. Our driver, Sam, asked us which animals we most wanted to see—we all agreed that elephants were our top priority. Within 10 minutes of setting out, we saw 2 male elephants attempting to assert their dominance over each other, as well as a mother and a baby and a small herd of elephants gathered together. We were all astonished at how close the elephants came to the safari vehicles. They are overwhelmingly massive yet so gentle in contrast. Some of them let us know when they had had enough of us by stomping and waving their trunks. Over the course of the 2.5-hour safari, we saw baboons, hippos, zebras, crocodiles, impalas, warthogs, and waterbucks. After the safari, we had lunch on a covered outdoor patio and watched warthogs and impalas in the watering hole a short distance below. Quite a scene!

One of the views from Fisherman's Rest

One of the views from Fisherman's Rest

Orientation

When we returned to Fisherman’s Rest, we completed the routine orientation for the rabies drive and found out what the next few days of work—both in static clinics and during door-to-door vaccinations—would entail. We begin our 5 days of work on Saturday, May 12, through Wednesday, May 17. The static clinics will be held Saturday and Sunday, and we will travel door-to-door Monday through Wednesday. Our buses leave for the Blantyre SPCA at 5:45 am and we work the vaccine clinics until 4 pm. It gets dark here at 5 pm, so we aim to have clinics wrapped up and supplies replenished before it gets dark. Check back with us here at cliniciansbrief.com/mission-rabies to read more about the work we are doing!—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. Currently, Foley is the audience outreach manager for Brief Media and also plays a key role in Brief Media's partnership with Mission Rabies. In 2017, she joined the Mission Rabies Mega Vaccine Drive in Malawi, Africa for her second year. 

DAWN McCLUSKEY, DVM, is a veterinarian with nearly 20 years of clinical experience, ranging from academia to private practice and industry. She joined Brief Media in 2015 as a medical editor for Clinician's Brief and Plumb's Therapeutics Brief and served as content manager for Plumb's Veterinary Drugs. She is honored to be a part of the efforts behind Mission Rabies in Malawi, Africa. 

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