I have returned safely from my trip to Kenya. The trip was an overwhelmingly amazing and humbling experience. The team consisted of OBGYN specialists, Dermatologists, Nurse anesthetists, nursing students, and this silly old veterinarian. Because there was one less surgical resident to the number of surgeons, I was able to scrub in on several surgeries to assist (special thanks to Ms. Kim for teaching me proper sterile technique). I also spayed/neutered the cats that were on the compound. But, the reason I am sending this email is to thank everyone who donated t-shirts for the kids. The amount of support I received leading up to the trip was outstanding and a true testament to the Auburn family. Special thanks to the Auburn Athletic department and Dr. Mary Boudreaux for donating a large amount of shirts. Also to the Continuing Education department (Kris Street) for donating a large number of shirts as well. Ms. Kaye Storey played a pivotal role as well as she collected shirts and kept them in her office leading up to the trip. The people of Kenya are exceptionally gracious for any type of help that you can provide to them. They experience joy from the smallest things, even a pen or pencil. So, to see those kids light up when we handed them new t-shirts with Auburn on them will be something I will never forget. Thanks again to everyone for helping me experience those kids and their gratitude.
One quick story for you donkey lovers. I was talking to a man at the clinic after my spay/neuter procedures and he was just shocked that we would spend so much money and effort on a dog or a cat. "If they get sick, we just get another" he said. So, I assumed the obvious when it came to their cows (nom nom) but asked him what they did with their donkeys (they are everywhere). He said that they don't eat them (what i expected), but they give them a proper burial instead. And in the grave site, they put money as a thank you to the donkey for all its hard work during its life. To me, that was really touching considering they don't have much money anyway and their overall feelings towards animals isn't anything like it is here in America. So, if any of you have a special place in your heart for donkeys.. Kenya is the place for you!!
Bradley R. Venable, DVM
Northside Veterinary Clinic
Fort Walton Beach, FL