Sunday, April 24, 2016

Love is patient, love is kind ...

It has been over two years without a major sterilization campaña.
While we worked through the process we never lost hope.
Our love for Cuba's animals and people sustained us.
The love they showed for their animals never allowed us to give up.
Now that regular entry of our medications is assured, 
all our programs are back and running.
Sterilzation Clinics for Pets
Deparasitizations for horses
Education Programs

It is fitting that our first full day on this trip would be Dia del Amor.

Our  casa particulares (accommodations) fronted on our clinic.
This morning we were created by Nina the Pero de la Casa.
She is the resident dog.
Also, a number of cats are resident and feast on the garbage bins located on the corner.
After our breakfast at La Marina we headed to our appointed meeting place for our ride to Mantanzas.
But that was not without some excitement.
The day before our arrival Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill had a meeting at the Havana Airport.
This was the first meeting in nearly 1000 years between a Roman Catholic Pope and a Russian Orthodox Pope.
The first words from Francis to Kirill were ...
"Finally! We are brothers"
That meeting lasted three hours. 
Pope Francis flew on to Mexico and Patriarch Kirill remained in Havana.

 Our casa particulares were located around the corner from The Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Our Lady of Kazan Cathedral. 
Security had now set up a perimeter for blocks leading to the Cathedral and our appointed meeting spot.
Vehicular traffic was blocked from this area of Habana Vieja.
Kirill was giving a Divine Liturgy and President Raul Castro was in attendance.
 After we finally connected with Susana and Guillermo we were on the road.
Havana - Matanzas is 170km so we needed fuel and chocolate.
Why were we heading to Matanzas?
To meet Dr.Hanoi Dominquez of APAC - Varadero and to pick up cat traps.
APAC is doing great work in Mantanzas Province.
They have partnered with resort hotels to set up Cat Cafes and provide humane population control.
They also hold regular spay/neuter clinics for pets.
We had a dozen traps on loan to APAC.
They in turn loaned us their traps for our campaña in Havana
On the way back to Havana I requested we stop at a road side cafe. Specifically the one over looking Cuba's longest and tallest bridge.
During the round trip we had much time to talk about the plans for our World Spay Day Week.
We had this lead time to finalize details before our veterinary teams arrival.
It was to be a busy one filled with highs and lows. 
Many of which will be detailed in the next few reports.

During the roadtrip Susana presented Dairne and I with very nice cards and a gift.
A Valentine Puppy for me.
Once we had the cages stowed away in our clinic it was time to visit  HQ.
Our "headquarters" in Habana Vieja is Terracotta 4.
It is the studio-gallery of ceramicists Amelia Carballo and Ángel Norniella
HQ is a home away from home for the Spanky Project team.
Once we enter we can never leave without being feed and watered.
Their love and caring extends into the animal community of Habana Vieja.
 They are always caring for a sick or injured cat or dog.
They also manage a colony of cats in a park across the street from their studio.
When other Colony Keepers are not able to tend to their own Amelia & Angel step in.
Next we headed over to Amagura where Amelia has been filling in at feeding time for another Protectora.
This location is adjacent to Danza Teatro Retrazos .
This street will be the site for our
 mass deparasitization of pets on the last day of our World Spay Day week activities.

This was Dia del Amor or as some call it Valentine's Day.
(I like to see you happy)

A day when love is celebrated.
A day that should be a year long.
A lifetime that should be free of violence and abuse for both men and women.

On Calle Carlos III, near the University, we came across this billboard.
It promotes the Eres Mas campaign.
ERES MAS - Campaña por la no violencia hacia la mujer

The campaign for non-violence against women.

I leave you with this.
Let your love be defined by more than flowers, chocolate and words.