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A Vaccination Vacation

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A Vaccination Vacation

After a strenuous first week of the drive, my fellow volunteers and I took a little vacation from vaccinations and headed to the beaches of Agonda and Palolem in South Goa for the weekend. It felt almost decadent to set the alarm for 6:30 instead of 5:00 am on Saturday morning.

Dawn and I stayed in a tree house bungalow with Arnie, Claudia, and one of the Mission Rabies staff members, Jo. There was no indoor plumbing, but there was running water and electricity. The beds, all shrouded in mosquito nets, gave the huts a real tropical vibe.

After unloading our bags and checking out the bungalow, we all headed to Palolem beach for a bite to eat and some shopping. Just like in northern Goa, the beaches of South Goa are lined with “beach shacks” and dogs and cattle freely roam the sand. Each time a dog approached us, I had to resist the urge to reach out and grab it and yell, “Vaccine! Vaccine!”

Everyone took the opportunity to buy souvenirs and gifts for our families back home. By the time we got back to Khaama Kethna it was very dark. Dawn and I climbed the steep steps and crawled into bed listening to the creatures that make their home in the jungle canopy. It was a magical experience.

Sunday morning, many of us attended a 90-minute yoga class that was held under a giant banyan tree. The instructor was a young South African woman with the most soothing voice. I’m not very experienced with yoga, but I did my best to follow the sun salutations and contort my stiff body into the different positions.

After yoga, we spent a few more hours at the beach before returning north. The weekend was just the thing to recharge everyone for the second half of the drive.—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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