Sitting here on my porch, at the Ghion Hotel, Bahirdar, in Ethiopia. I'm trying to write a blog, but struggling. I'm sitting in one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to, from here I can see flower filled gardens, the thatched round house that's a bar, and, beyond, the waters of Lake Tana. The trees of the garden are filled with an amazing variety of birds, so tame that I had to practically step over one the other day. Overhead there are scores of large 'buzzard' type birds, with a wing span of over a yard, they look like buzzards, but I guess they're some kind of vulture.
"Life is like a toilet roll, the nearer the end you get, the faster it goes" I read that somewhere just recently, and it appears to have lodged in my brain, now I hope I've still got a fair bit of roll left, at least a third or so, but it's so true, time flies past now, and I can't believe that I haven't done a blog since last august! (Probably a big relief to most of you, but I have had a few 'nudges' from both of my readers.)
Now sitting in my hotel room in Delhi, writing up reports, and getting ready to travel by road to Sikar, in Rajasthan tomorrow (around 7 hours in a Tata car) with one of my favourite people, the taxi driver Sadagi. I'm going up there to run a two week harness making course for the local donkey owners, whose present harness causes massive wounds to the donkeys, not only inflicting the animals with what must be agonising pain, but also putting them in a position where they actually die, often from tetanus.
Both myself and Andrew Trawford, Director of Veterinary Services here at the Sanctuary, attended the 2008 British Veterinary Association Congress held in London at the end of September, along with Dr Francisco Trigo, Director of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and Professor Merga Bekana, Dean of the Addis Ababa University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Debre Zeit.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia was the venue for the 5th International Colloquium on Working Equines. The 5th of its kind this colloquium jointly sponsored by the Sanctuary and Addis Ababa University focused on the Future for Working Equines. Since it's inception in 1990 the colloquium has taken place every four years and has rapidly become an important forum for the exchange of ideas and techniques amongst like-minded people.