Thursday, August 23, 2007

Cuba Day 5 Havana

Cuba Day 5 Havana
Saturday July 28

The day begins with the usual 8:30 breakfast in my Casa. Evora is so wonderful, over a year ago I commented to her that I noticed a lack of the usual raw sugar. We had a discussion about it and the reasons behind it. Well with my next visit and every visit since she had raw sugar for me. It truly is my home in Havana.

After breakfast I strolled up the Prado to the Hotel Sevilla to check email. As I approached the Sevilla the street was being shut down for a Farmers Market. This was a new occurrence for me.
There was a wide selection of fruits and vegetables including pineapples, peppers and garlic.

Along with the market vendor on the street local restaurants had cafes set up on the Prado. Sorry no picture.

As usually in Havana, where there is waste food there are dogs.

Evora (bandana) and Manuel (left) asked if I would met with a young friend of theirs. Sinuhe(green shirt) is a Vet Tech in Guanabacoa and does his best to help the locals and their animals in the absence of a Vet. Sinuhe and a fellow Vet Tech are one there own since the local Vet left the country.
If you would like to help the animals of Guanabacoa I will be please to provide delivery details.

Guanabacoa founded in 1607 is a town about 4km east of the Havana harbour.
It would be worth a day trip from Havana. I plan to return and spend more time touring around.

Sinuhe and family invited us into there home for a wonderful lunch. Cuban cuisine was the fare and it came in the form of quimbobo. Soooooooooo gooooooooooood.

Also on this Saturday I ventured off for a visit to one of two pet stores in Havana.
Located at Obispo #410, Casa Langwith is a stop I always make to see what’s available. As I walked up to the window the shop was full of smoke. Upon closer inspection and reading a note on the door it was closed for fumigation.

If you travel to Havana and do not have room for aid to the animals drop by Casa Langwith after arrival and pick up some wormer, dog food, anti parasitics etc.
Should this be an option you can drop the supplies off at Aquacate #9 esq. Chacon upper floor. Stilita is your contact.
She is only a few blocks away from the pet store.
Shout up to one of the upper floor windows.
Tell her Terry sent you.
Stilita's english is excellent.

This trip was my first meet with Stilita. Evora suggested I drop by because Stilita's daughter is a Protectora.
I arrived and, as very Cuban, shouted her name up to the window. Stilita dropped the key down to me and I let myself in.
Upon leaving Stilita gave me the key and said to be sure to lock the gate. I asked what I should do with the key she said "give it to Boston", her dog. After locking the gate I gave the key to Boston and he returned it upstairs.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Cuba Day 4 Havana

Friday July 27

As you will see from the group shot this meeting was well attended. Not only were three veterinarians in attendance we also had a lawyer, professors and a representative of another animal rescue group working in Havana.

Attention was focused on organizing a spay/neuter campaign with quantifiable results. To this end a sector by sector approach was adopted. Centro Havana will be divide using the Malecon and major streets as boundaries. In these areas a census of the animals in the area will be conducted with the help of local committees. In order to more accurately measure the number of animals in the sector it will be requested that Zoonosis (aka dog catcher) not pick up animals in the sector where campaigns are being conducted.

Zoonosis is a branch of the government called Salud Publica. Zoonosis collects dogs in the streets and takes them to a location on the edge of Havana. If a dog is not claimed within three days it is “sacrificed”, there term for euthanized. Approximately 150 dogs are “sacrificed” each week. The method used to end the lives of these creatures is poisoning by strychnine. Not a humane way to end a life.
With a population control campaign based on a spay and neuter program it is the the groups goal that the number of animals collected and “sacrificed" by Zoonosis will decline. Also a more humane method of euthanasia will be put forward.

What a happy threesome.
On the left Amparo, head of the Dulce Maria Loynaz group, is holding 500ml of IVOMEC generously donated by Merial Canada.
In the middle Elvira inspects a bottle of PYRAQUANTAL , an allwormer. Elvira is a profesora at the Universidad de La Habana and she supports the efforts of the university garage workers to protect resident dogs. Have a look at a visit to the garage on my Flickr
Finally we have Juliet she is the groups Informatics person. She is putting together the database to track dogs and cats and campaign statistics.

A mini campaign is to be held on Sunday.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Cuba Day 3 Havana

Thursday July 26
This was a day off so to speak, National Rebellion Day. This national holiday commemorates the day, July 26, 1953, on which Castro and about 200 young Cuban rebels attacked the Moncada army barracks at Santiago, Cuba.

The “mainstage” celebration this year was in Camaquey. This nationally televised event was a mix of political speeches and musical entertainment. Fidel was a no show and Raul Castro took part with some speech making.

Special thanks go out to Merial Canada for a generous donation of Ivomec. These shots were taken from the terrace of my home away from home in Havana.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Cuba Day 2 Havana

Wednesday July 25

While visiting with Amparo three kids showed up with an injured bird.

This trip to Cuba was my busiest from a Spanky Project point of view. Many days it was too late to post to this Blog. My venue for internet access shut down at 10:00pm.

What I will do here is do a day to day recap...........

Wednesday July 25th
It was another hot day in Havana. Being from the Great White North aka Canada these temperatures are most appreciated in January and February. Oh well one must do what must be done when it’s needed. It can think of worse place to be in the heat.

On this day I met with Amparo, the head of the Dulce Maria Loynaz group. This meeting was to prepare for further discussion with a larger group. We discussed the goals of the sterilization campaign in Centro Habana along with budget items. Administrative and operational supply needs were also discussed.

Needed Items:
-Portable tattoo outfit for marking ID’s in the ear of dogs and cats.
-Shaver with a blade close cutting for the pre surgery shave.
-Laptop computers (older unloved models)- to maintain a data base of animals with tattoo ID’s.
-Laser printer - to aid in the distribution of educational and promotional materials.
-Dog training and care material in Spanish.
-Children’s books about animals in Spanish
--Flea and tick control.