Month: February 2017

Back in the saddle, back on the bus…

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Buenas tardes from Campeche. I am still trying to figure out what I’m doing with my life this trip. I’ve been having a great time because Mérida is a very cool city,my friends here are fun, and Melody has been the most generous host (of all time, seriously, she is the absolute best). I decided to give her the day off, though, and took a bus to the next state over and see Campeche. I got here a few hours ago, walked around, and I feel like I’ve seen it. Very cute place, but not much here. Ken and Martha said a day would be enough. Melody’s friend Amelia advised: “Maybe not even that. A few hours would be fine.” Everyone was right. I’m glad I only booked one night in my hostel.

I’m glad I came to Campeche anyway just to get back into the swing of traveling: booking a hostel, navigating maps, buying bus tickets (my cell phone remembered the WiFi network in the terminal in Mérida from two years ago, so that was neat), etc. I was pretty stationary in Puebla unless you want to count afternoon excursions with the Spanish school. I’ve been pretty stationary in Mérida, too, aside from the clinics and a few short jaunts with Ken, Martha, and Melody. Her house is so beautiful and relaxing, it’s hard to leave it. I will be, however, in just over a week. My aunt and her good friend are vacationing in Puerto Vallarta and I’m flying up to meet them. I arrive a week ahead of them which gives me some time to explore PV and Sayulita on my own. Those were two places I was supposed to visit during my last Big Trip but my plans were thwarted. A little beach time will be nice.

After the beach, maybe I’ll change it up and head to the snow. Or Mars. Time will tell.

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My week as a volunteer cat cuddler

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This past week I had the pleasure of volunteering for free spay/neuter clinics in three different cities in the Yucatan: Progreso, Mérida, and Valladolid. The clinics are a joint effort between U.S.-based Planned Pethood and local organization AFAD. Mexico has so many street animals and these events help reduce overpopulation while educating communities about dog and cat care. I got involved because my friend Melody has been volunteering with them for years in addition to other animal welfare groups in Mexico. Most people do two or three days but we did all seven because we’re hardcore like that.

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Me and Melody on Day One in Progreso.

The clinics themselves are rather like mobile army surgical hospitals. A lot of equipment is brought in and set up quickly in gymnasiums or warehouses, wherever space is found. Veterinarians come in from all over the world for this. There were vets from other cities in Mexico, the U.S., Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria. Mexican veterinary students serve as technicians. Locals and expats volunteer in many roles. More than 300 animals were sterilized each day so there was a lot of activity and a lot of tasks that needed to be accomplished.

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