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Impressions of my first visit to Mexico: Day 8

Monday 20th October

We are collected early by the project vets Carlos and Mauro, project driver and logistician Josue, and social service vets Erika and Diana to drive to St Bernabe market. This lies about 60 kms as the crow flies west of Mexico City between Toluca and Ixtalhuaca. However we do not follow the route of a crow and the journey, up over forested hills in clear morning light cut by occasional bands of low morning mist, takes us 3 hours.

Impressions of my first visit to Mexico: Day 3

Wednesday 15th October

Nesahualcoyatl, or 'Nesa', is an eastern satellite of Mexico City named after an Aztec king, Nesa Hualcoyatl, meaning Nesa of the place of the coyotes. Mexico City was the Aztec capital of Mexico until the Spanish conquest. Nesa is where many of the people drifting to Mexico City for work settle. Nowadays the only coyote in Nesa is the dramatic giant red metal modern art statue that stands, towering over a more modest and traditional statue of the king, on a roundabout at the start of the suburb.

Impressions of my first visit to Mexico: Day 2

Tuesday 14th October

On our first morning, we are collected by Alfredo Lopez Cabañas (veterinary surgeon), Mauro Madariaga (veterinary assistant), Pablo Torrealba (farrier), Chris Garrett, our UK based harness specialist, and Erika and Alma, two Social Service students. In Mexico, state University education is almost free, but students have to spend time doing useful work before they fully graduate. Erika and Alma are about to become vets, and the project provides a useful introduction to donkey health and welfare.

Impressions of my first visit to Mexico: Day 1

Monday 13th October

After an 11 hour flight from Heathrow, taking us over Ireland, the Atlantic, the eastern seaboard of the Unites States and past massive cumulus clouds boiling up in the hurricane zone of the Gulf of Mexico, we arrive, with the sun starting to set, onto Mexico’s high central plateau and the enormous metropolis of Mexico City. Vets Alfredo and Mauro, meet us and take us to where we will be staying. Alfredo is the team leader of one of four mobile teams in the Mexico project and Mauro is his veterinary assistant.

British Veterinary Association Congress

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.

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