Myanmar - 3 Weeks in December 2017 and 2014
I have made multiple trips to provide veterinary services for the people of Myanmar as well as for the Free Burma Rangers. I had the opportunity to work with water buffalo, horses, mules, and monkeys, teaching the villagers some simple medical procedures that they could do on their own. I left them with basic medical supplies and step-by-step instruction books translated into Burmese so they could care for their animals since veterinary care is normally unavailable.
Ethiopia - 3 Weeks in August 2016
My work in Ethiopia sought to examine the major cause of abandonment of carthorses and to improve their general welfare. In three weeks, we conducted research on 200 horses, 75 of which were abandoned in the streets. We discovered that a significant cause of abandonment was due to misconceptions about equine care, including a common belief that cutting open the ears of sick or injured horses would assist with healing and that abandoning them in a pasture would heal fractured or broken bones.
My experience in this country has served to further ignite my goal to work as a veterinarian in underserved, rural communities where I can provide veterinary care, teach animal owners better healthcare practices, and research the causes of poor performance and welfare in their animals. Some of the towns I visited had no veterinary presence; thus animal welfare was especially lacking and the carthorse owners in particular were very excited to have us take an interest in their plight.
Ethiopians take great pride in their country and their deeply rooted values. While there, I learned the local Amharic language, traditional dances, and they welcomed me warmly into their cultural activities, including church, home-cooked meals, local restaurants, and traditional dance performances.