In her third in a series of blogs, read about vet Jo Hardy’s experience of volunteering with SPANA in Morocco. Jo recently appeared on the BBC Two programme, Young Vets.
A normal day in the Chemaia clinic started at 8 am. We would put on our overalls and go straight out to give out the morning medications and perform any emergency procedures for the more critical patients. That would usually take us to 9 am, when we would have about half an hour to get breakfast and a cuppa whilst the horses ate their breakfast.
For the rest of the morning we would get each patient out in turn, and treat and re-bandage their wounds, as well as complete any small procedures that needed to be done. After that, Chloe and I would take several donkeys out to the grass patch and let them graze and socialize and Driss the technician would bring us egg sandwiches and tea while we supervised them.
He would also chat to the many people who came in with their horses to drink at the SPANA water trough, and distribute fluorescent bridles for horses and reflective plates for the back of carts, making them more visible to traffic in the low light. This project is unique to Chemaia and incredibly popular. Many horses and carts are now kitted out in hi-vis in the town.
Around 2 pm, we would see new patients alongside the SPANA vets Kamal or Youness. Commonly these were minor cases of lameness or coughing, but on several days there were emergency cases too. After this, any major procedures and stitch ups would be done and the day would finish sometime between 4.30pm-6.30pm depending on the caseload.
Chloe and I would usually take that as an opportunity to head down to a local restaurant for a Moroccan salad and tagine, then head back to relax for a couple of hours before night time checks and medications at about 10pm. Every day we would fall asleep exhausted and exhilarated from our work!
Read Jo's first blog: Volunteering in Marrakech.
Read Jo's second blog: The first day in Chemaia.
Read Jo's fourth blog: A week volunteering in Chemaia.
Read Jo's fifth blog: Back to Marrakech.