Monday, September 24, 2007

Two Sleeps



In less than 48 hours I will be back in Cuba. The moon will be full and I’ll be sippin’ on something.

It looks like I will be traveling light this trip. Sunwing Vacations being a charter company allows a total of 20kg of checked baggage. 
Last Wednesday I sent an email to Sunwing ,via their website, requesting an increased allowance. The website states to allow two business days for a replies to emails.
As of this morning I still have not had a reply so a second email was sent to them this morning.
I must say I enjoy flying with Air Canada from the standpoint of luggage allowance (2 bags 23kg each).

One meeting I hope to arrange is with Nora Garcia the head of Aniplant. Aniplant is the NGO responsible for the protection of animals. More on Aniplant latter.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Havana in one week.


We interupt this Wish List Wedneday to annouce.... we're off to Havana again.
Yes it seems like I just returned.
The package deal I scored via Redtag.ca was too good to pass up.
Sept.26 - Oct 3
Toronto to Havana 7 nights accomadation and tranfers for the sum of $430.03 CDN tax included.

If you will be in Havana at this time drop me a line.

The down side of this trip is the flight is via Sunwing a package charter airline. My total weight allowance, according to my ticket, is 20 kg (44lbs).

Here is the Wednesday Wish List with some additions.

Please do not restrict yourself to the listed items. Everything is in need so look for sales in your area.
I have provided links to sources in various countries. If you come across a deal let me now and I may post it.


Australia
All Wormer


USA
Ivomec 1% Injectable
Permectrin II
Provides long-acting killing power for flies, lice, mites, ticks, fleas and mosquitoes

Bio Spot Pyrthrin Dip
4oz bottle makes 8 gallons of dip.


UK
Source for wormers

Drontal Plus All Wormer
Capstar


YOUR LOCAL DOLLAR or PET SHOP
6' nylon dog leashes
nylon collars
Dog and cat crates and carriers of ALL sizes

BIGGER TICKET ITEMS
Animal shaver with detachable surgical blade. ie Oster A5 Golden (110V) #40 blade, Andis MBG2 Pro-Animal Clipper Kit.

Animal marker kit ie Spaulding Electric Tattoo Animal Marker(110V)


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Cuba Day 7, 8 Trinidad

August 30-31

Leaving my big bag behind at Evora’s I began my trip to Trinidad.

As suggested I arrived at the terminal one hour (07:15) before departure. There was a long line up for tickets.
The line was so long in fact that passengers bound for an earlier departing bus for Varadero were permitted to jump the queue.
Finally with ticket (27 cuc) in hand and my one bag checked it was up to the restaurant for a “espresso doble”. A word of advise .... place your order at the counter then grab a table.

The Viazul bus service is the most reliable form of intercity/provincial transport in the country. This was a typical trip with the usual midway rest stop. There are toilet facilities on the bus but if you can wait for the rest stop the facilities are clean and comfortable.
Also available at these stops you can purchase snacks and beverages.
Five hours and thirty minutes after leaving Havana I arrive in Trinidad.

Founded in 1514 the present day population is 38,000. This town is the finest example of preserved colonial architecture in Cuba. In the 1950 Batista passed a preservation law that allowed Trinidad to maintain it’s character. In 1965 the town was named a national monument and in 1988 declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

My casa was located a short walk from the bus terminal. First one must run the line of offers for accommodations as you leave the depot lot. Thirty plus people will offer you rooms in their houses. I think Trinidad must have the highest concentration of Casa Particulares in Cuba.
Casa Colonial Muñoz
is operated by Julio Muñoz and Rosa Orbea. Built in 1800 this colonial house is located in the centre of Trinidad.
Upon arrival I was met by Rosa and Julio. My room had a high ceiling with two beds, ceiling fan and air conditioning. A refrigerator was located outside of my room and my private washroom steps away.

Julio is a truly an animal lover. He sure does like them big. During my visit I met Diana,a foal that spends the evenings in the back of the Casa. Sad news Diana recently died as a result of an injury inflicted by a cow.

One of the reasons for this side trip to Trinidad was to reconnect with a Vet I met briefly a year and a half earlier. With translation help from Julio a plan is being developed which will assist locals their animals and the neighbourhood Protectora.

If you are staying in Trinidad or just visiting for the day consider dropping off a donation to help the locals. Trinidad is such a pretty town the animals should be in equally good shape.



Julio will gladly accept donated supplies for distribution to the local Vet and Protectoras.
Contact Information and Map

Cubans are known for their ability to make something out of very little.Veterinarians are no different. Here is an example... homemade cauterization device...

it's power supply is a transformer scavenged from a Soviet television.







Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Wish List Wednesday


Time to start a new feature .... Wish List Wednesday

For those that are heading to Cuba and would like to help those helping the dogs and cats I will provide a list of some needed items.
If you can help out email me for delivery details for the following locations in Cuba:
Havana, Guanabacoa,Trinidad, Cienfuegos ...
Coming soon Moron, Holquin

Please do not restrict yourself to the listed items. Everything is in need so look for sales in your area.
I have provided links to sources in various countries. If you come across a deal let me now and I may post it.


Australia
All Wormer


USA
Ivomec 1% Injectable

Permectrin II
Provides long-acting killing power for flies, lice, mites, ticks, fleas and mosquitoes


UK
Source for wormers

YOUR LOCAL DOLLAR or PET SHOP
6' nylon dog leashes
nylon collars
Dog and cat crates and carriers of ALL sizes

BIGGER TICKET ITEMS
Animal shaver with detachable surgical blade. ie Oster A5 Golden (110V) #40 blade

Animal marker kit ie Spaulding Electric Tattoo Animal Marker(110V)



Sunday, September 2, 2007

Cuba Day 6 Havana

Sunday July 29

Cuba Day 6 Havana

This day was to be a very busy one.

I’m up and out the door at 7:00. The reason for the early start is that I’m due in Vedado at 08:30 for a mini “campaña”.Cubans, I find, are big on showing their appreciation by actions. To acknowledge the arrival of the anesthetic I brought we were going to operate three dogs and three cats.

So I’m walking up the Prado, my favourite Havana street, looking for coffee. My primary destination is the Hotel Sevilla. I’ve stayed at the Sevilla several time, it’s one of the grand old ladies from the gangster era. Though I stay at Casa Evora when I can, the Sevilla is always a stop for the internet or a drink. I arrive to a quiet lobby and order my usual “espresso doble”. I’m stunned to hear the machine is broken “es roto”. So I’m on the road again up the road to Hotel plaza. Here I wake the waiter and bartender. The Hotel Plaza is another of the old ladies. Though rated a star less than the Sevilla the Plaza is in a prime location on the edge of Parque Central. Coffee at last.
In November of ’06 I spent a week in Havana staying at the Plaza. That trip, there was a huge plasma screen TV in the bar. Now here I am in July and there is a small TV on a stand. Apparenty the plasma “es roto”.

Time for a taxi to Vedado. On the edge of Parque Central is always a good place to find a ride. My taxi outfit of choice is Panataxi,These trademark yellow and white Lada’s are metered and economical. I found Luis and his Lada near the Inglaterra Hotel. We rode to Vedado along the Malecon. During the drive Luis agreed to show up the following Thrusday to take me to the airport. This has happened before with other taxistas ...we’ll see.

I arrived a little early and Amparo is packing up some items for the campaña. Shortly after my arrival there was a knock at the door and entered Israel a gentleman who protect cats in his neighbourhood.
Once we were prepared we were out the door for a walk to where the campaña is to be held.




Upon arrival Amparo began to record the information for the dogs and cats that were in attendance and Ibrahim the Vet was doing pre surgical exams and calculated the needed anesthetic. Ibrahim asked if I was going to assist him to which I replied “sure”.


This day we were slated to do six spays. Here are some of the patients. Note the Cuban inventiveness with the cat carriers.















There was one piece of business we had to take care of before the surgeries began. We had to hunt for a local semi feral cat known to Israel. We were not successful but as you can see from the photo a cat carrier would be an excellent donation. The onion bag works but we can do better.










Upon our return from the cat hunt we found Ibrahim was ready to begin.

As you can see we are not in a clinical setting. These campañas are held in the homes of individuals that are helping the effort in any way possible.



Eusebio Leal Spengler, director of the Historian’s Office of the City of Havana gave approval for this pilot project to take place in Centro Habana. We hope to prove that a well run spay and neuter campaign can control the animal population to the point that wholesale dog catching is not the means of population control.

At present Zoonosis, a branch of Salud Publica, roams the streets collecting unaccompanied dogs. They are taken to the outskirts of Havana where the are held for three days.
If the animals are not claimed they are killed ... the method Strychnine poisoning.

Each week an average of 150 dogs suffer this fate.