This past summer, we took eight 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year students and one veterinarian down for two weeks to stay in Thibeau, Haiti. During our trip, we had six clinics and treated over 500 goats, cows, horses, donkeys, cats, dogs, and pigs! We worked with two amazing translators that helped us with many productive conversations with farmers in the region to learn about the challenges they face, and the innovative solutions they use to raise productive livestock for their families and community. In addition to clinic days, we spent several days visiting the farmers that the team works with every year at their own farms. We spoke to them about what challenges they faced that year, how they were addressed, and together came up with some ideas of how to prevent or solve these problems in the future. In addition, we were shown around the farms by the farmers in an attempt to learn more about what type of forages are available for their animals to eat. We were able to identify many of the plant species we found and create a basic survey of the forage species available in this region.
As veterinary students, we learned so much from being part of this community about communication, adaptation, medicine, and the development of sustainable agriculture in Haiti. Throughout our time in Haiti, we had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people, eat delicious Haitian food, and experience the lively culture, and beautiful country of Haiti. We learned salsa dancing, ate soup joumou, played soccer, spent a day beach-side, were shown a mountain-side swimming hole by excited kids, and hiked to the top of the Citadelle Laferrière. We are very grateful for the opportunity to learn while sharing our knowledge in this beautiful country.
Here are some pictures of our team at our clinics performing physical exams, providing vaccines and de-worming medications, and treating animals.
We all had an amazing time in Haiti, and cannot wait to go back! This trip really would not have been possible without the help of our gracious host and guide, Father Gaby, our translators, Celestine and Michele, and our veterinarian, Dr. Hain. Thank you!