Last week on Zanzibar! Honestly the time passed so fast down there we could hardly believe it. We all found ourselves feeling a bit more confident and at home in the clinic. Just knowing where the stethoscope It will help a lot when Dr. Flavi shouts out instructions and you're all colliding with each other to help as fast as possible.
The last week of our stay in Zanzibar started with something we had never seen before: A goat with the pox-virus. It starts with small macules that later turns into large vesicles on the skin and leaves scabs. The only treatment you can offer in that kind of situation is to remove as many of the scabs as possible and thereafter administrate penicillin. It was fascinating to experience a disease we consider completely eradicated for humans, and see firsthand how devastating it can be.
It was also interesting to experience a different culture when it comes to when and how you choose to help the animals. In most of western Europe that goat would for sure have been put down to relieve it's pains and discomfort, but also to curb the spreading of the disease. We all discussed this at length while we were removing the scabs with iodine scrub, trying to hold a screaming goat still. It didn't at the time seem like the humane thing to do. However, we also saw the goat a few days later where it was much better, walking on its own and eating again - it survived, and will live hopefully a lot longer than if we had put it down Monday. Sometimes it's nice to have your perspective changed a bit, and a trip to Zanzibar will definitely show you a different way of approaching diseased animals.
What seemed like no time at all, since we had arrived, we had the last day with Dr. Flavi. The day started off really well with “our” faithful car that wouldn’t start, and when it finally did, we got about 50 meters when someone realised the front tire was completely flat. This can quickly become catastrophic as the only way to get around the island is with this car/van that will travel over roads most of us wouldn’t bike across. But, luckily, after getting over these little bumps we were finally ready to get on the road. After driving around what seemed like most of Zanzibar, where we got to control the music for the first time - apparently Dr. Flavi and Abdul are fans of Shakira - we got to Nungwi where we did a lot of routine health checks on a lot of different animals - and also discovered that some cats are more willing to get close to the vets than others.
The last couple of days we got to spend a bit alternatively than how we normally do at the clinic as we got to ride around on Annas lovely horses. As someone who does not have that much experience with horses it's always a great pleasure. But, not only that, we also got to clean the donkeys. This can seem like a trivial, and honestly silly, job. But seeing how the animals was loving it made it all worth it.
Way too soon it became time for us to head home to Denmark once again. But we left Zanzibar with so much new knowledge, amazing experiences and an even bigger wish to travel more.
If anyone is looking for a place where you will be offered responsibility, are taught to do to your own operations and still want time to breathe and see the island, a trip to the clinic in Zanzibar is well worth it all.