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June 16

August 11, 2011

We went to a farm today where we were going to supposedly vaccinate 300 sheep and goats, and castrate 50 of them. I thought we would be there all day, we weren’t, primarily because we didn’t do that many animals. We vaccinated less than a hundred and we each castrated two animals. After working with cattle so much, sheep and goats seem so obedient. They received vitamins and we de-wormed. The shot is subcutaneous. My first castration of the day didn’t go so smoothly. The vessel that we crunch with the emasculator ripped before I crunched it. I must have pulled on the testicle too much. The goat was fine though. No excess bleeding or anything so that made me feel better. My second castration was the best one I have done while I have been here. Nothing went wrong and I was actually finished pretty fast. After finishing with the first pen of animals, we went to the second pen. This pen was a lot emptier, but was lacking a shoot from which to grab the animals. The herdsmen went after the little creatures with lassoes and practiced hands. The rest of us, we tried to build a human wall to corner them. Most sheep ended up escaping our little trap anyway. It was fun. Those caught were vaccinated and marked purple with a disinfectant. By the third time cornering them, they figured out where the gate is and most got out of the pen. The herdsmen went out to catch them as we left the farm.

We went back to Big Rock today. Delayna helped me get around with the rocks almost all the way to the falls again. Then Dr. Kirsten came and I held on to her shoulders as she swam and I kicked. I stayed at the rocks near the falls for a while. Then the group decided they wanted to go shower under the falls again. I held on to Justin’s shoulder and tried to swim with one hand and kicking. I didn’t go all the way to the falls because the current was getting stronger and stronger the closer we got. Chelsea and Catty jumped from the rocks. Going back to the rocks at the edge of the pool that surrounds the falls (man I really need to draw a picture) I told Justin I wanted to try on my own, but to stay close in case I needed help. Dr. Kirsten said that just as long as I don’t freak I would be able to do it. I went slowly back to the rocks, but I was able to “swim” there. I SWAM!!!! Not very far, but I got there. I rested my head on a rock and let my body float over the water. It was nice. It started to rain, then it stopped so we started getting cold. There is something new. Meanwhile Cora is climbing the rocks like there is no tomorrow and decides she wants to explore on top of the falls. It looked like so much fun, but I didn’t know how I would get back down (climbing up is a lot easier than climbing down). I asked Justin how that worked. He said that if I was a very good climber I could make it back down that way or I would have to jump into the water. He said he could wait for me at the pool and make sure I got back up once I jumped.  I haven’t really climbed before I got here, and I wasn’t jumping (I wish I did know how to swim very well though, so I could have jumped, I would have done it if I knew how). I had to miss out on the river that lay on top of those falls. Justin and Dr. Kirsten followed Cora though. And when they came back, they all had to jump. Cora says the right side of the pool from where they jumped is scarier that the left side they had done last time. Well that didn’t stop her from jumping in several more times from there. Going from the little pool under the falls back to where we left our belongings, I swam again. I started getting kind of nervous when we were in the very center of the lake so I held on to Justin for a moment until I calmed down a little bit. Then I let go and went again. It was so much fun. I just can’t help thinking that while other people’s adventures are exploring and jumping off rocks, mine are learning how to swim. Oh well, one step at a time. I still had a blast. After this, all the afternoon went by studying and reviewing our presentation on Friday and packing for our weekend trip to Sartaneja. Lesson of the day – don’t forget that although some animals aren’t as vocal, they still feel.

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