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June 9th

To begin the day we went to a farm out in the middle of nowhere. Well after such a long trip to get to the middle of nowhere, we all had to go to the ladies room very badly. All we had was nature’s room. It was such a trip to take turns going to “nature’s room” in the middle of the jungle.  Meanwhile, the farm owners were off herding all the cattle into a large pen that connected to a shoot were we would be able to vaccinate the cows. There were a total of 250 head of cattle. About 170 were tagged at the ear. These were our targets, the untagged ones would have to wait for the other group to get around to do it. When we first started vaccinating the cattle many of us were breaking the needles. The skin was so hard to penetrate that I thought it was going to be a long day. However, we soon got the hang of things. It almost seemed like we had set up more of an assembly line for poking and pressing than vaccinating in a shoot. Every once in a while one of the calves needed to be castrated. We each got the chance to castrate a calve. We cut the tip of the scrotum, took out the testicles, pulled back excess ligaments, and cut off the testicles. When I worked on my calve, he suddenly started bleeding a lot after I had crushed the vessels. Dr. Eduardo had to close off the vessels with zip ties to prevent further bleeding. I felt terrible because I thought that maybe I hadn’t crushed the vessels hard enough and that’s why he had bled. Dr Eduardo said that was not it. That the age of the animal, the heat, and a number of other factors can cause the blood to become very thin, therefore allowing excess bleeding.  We also gilded a horse. The horse though, as to be put on anesthesia unlike the cattle and we closed off the blood vessels with zip ties to prevent bleeding instead of just crushing the vessels closed. The herding dogs were happy because they got to eat a lot of testicles today. After a calve was castrated, we would go back to vaccinating. We were injecting the cattle with Ivermectin as a de-wormer and Vitamin B. While in the shoot, one cow got her horns stuck in the wood of the shoot. She pulled off hard and her horn yanked right out. She is going to slaughter in a couple of days. They can’t leave her like that because she will end up dying of blood loss. After several hours of vaccinating, the farm owners started chopping off the tips of some green smooth coconuts. We all drank out of the coconuts the clear/slightly white water inside them. Then the owners cut open the coconuts and the herding dogs had at the meat of the fruit. When we finally finished after what seemed like forever but was actually only about 4-5 hours long, we went for lunch and a dip at a river nearby. Putting on a one-piece swimsuit in the jungle is difficult. Delayna and I really wanted to catch a fish, but to no avail. We then decided to join the wildlife group at the biology lab to practice different methods of suturing on un-cooked chicken. There is this one stitch that you can’t even see from over the skin because you do it in between the muscle. I liked that one the best. Then we got back to the lodge and we all huddled in Jennifer’s room to look at a tiny baby gecko. It was very cute. Lesson for the day, I need a two piece swimsuit.

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