Amigos de los Animales I: Spay-athon Puerto Rico

 

From November 3. to 9, a coalition of 26 local, national, and international organizations hosted a colossal Spay-athon in Puerto Rico. At eight different locations, veterinarians accomplished a marathon of surgeries and vaccinations to get Puerto Rico's cats and dogs spayed and neutered.

To dogs per person were granted a free treatment so Amigos de los Animales took the chance to get 13 of the shelter’s most recent rescues treated. On Tuesday morning Shelter Director Adri and ADLA CEO Amanda together with long time supporters Lianne, Isabel and Gabriela made their way to Arecibo. Also on board: Franky, Boots, Alfa, Amos, Pam, Pinky, Jagger, Blanquita, Mimi, Stormy, Blanquin and Tiffany. 

Most of these Satos were barely used to walking on a leash, let alone standing in queue for more then six hours. However Alfa, Blanqui, Boots and Jagger quickly adapted to the new situation and enjoyed the hustle and bustle in the surroundings of hundreds of other dogs. With countless new smells and so many things to pee on it was no wonder the little ones where overwhelmed with excitement while the crew moved slowly forward in line. And when you have two sweet dogs like Boots and Alfa in your lap no waiting is ever too stressful and time passes by quickly. 

 Lianne and Tiffany

Lianne and Tiffany

 

Thanks to the amazing volunteers in Arecibo the registration process went smoothly. The vets and volunteers treated well over 1.500 animals over the course of six days in Arecibo alone. In this historic effort to effect systemic change for the animals in Puerto Rico two more Spay-athons are scheduled for 2019.

After the surgeries the Amigos Team gathered in the milddle of the basketball stadium where the surgeries took place to wait for the 13 furballs to wake up from anesthesia. Especially for Gabriela this was a chance for a well deserved break for she was handling Amos and Pinky, two furry rascals who dared each other not to stand still for more than ten seconds over the many hours in queue. 
At the end of a very long Tuesday not only the dogs were tired, but everyone from Amigos de los Animales was happy to be a part of this successful venture because it means Amos, Pinky, Boots and Co. are one step closer to finding a forever home.

Please visit Amigos de los Animales to see all the adoptable dogs and ways to support the rescue of puerto rican straydogs.

 
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 Lianne, Adri and Amanda together with their rescues in Arecibo

Lianne, Adri and Amanda together with their rescues in Arecibo

 

Yabucoa III: Millie's Home

The first roof I worked on in Yabucoa with All Hands and Hearts was hidden in the blue sky and behind ridiculously steep roads. Millie's house has suffered from hurricane Maria and the roof was leaking in every corner. But under the guidance of team-leader Lauren and after hours of puerto rican reggaeton from the radio, powerwashing, scraping, cementing and painting, the little light blue house was sealed and restored.

 
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she insisted that here you make lifelong friends and although I literally tried not to speak to anyone for the first few days, she still smiled at me and said: I could be one of them. 

I didn’t believe her back then.

 

Yabucoa I: All Hands & Hearts

"It’s 6:45. Meet your team. Puerto Rico needs you!“ It’s sunny morning at the base and Jenn, Volunteer Coordinator of All Hands and Hearts in Yabucoa, makes sure that everyone gets ready for a new day of power washing, painting and roof fixing. 

Yabucoa, is the place where hurricane Maria first made landfall in fall 2017, just weeks after hurricane Irma had haunted the Island. In this small municipal area alone over 37.000 residents have been affected by the hurricane and even after more than a year, hundreds of homes are still in need of basic roof repair. 

The NGO All Hands and Hearts ist specialized on international disaster relief and committed to address the immediate and long-term needs of communities impacted by natural disasters. Their aim is to arrive early for first response but also to stay late until schools and homes are rebuilt in a disaster-resilient way. That’s why the organization is still maintaining three bases in Puerto Rico.

I’m joining the Yabucoa program of All Hands and Hearts for a little while to work with volunteers from around the globe who followed their heart and the call of the island: “Puerto Rico needs you”. 

 
 
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 Volunteers Ely, Charlito, Fanan and Lauren. The view of Yabucoa valley.

Volunteers Ely, Charlito, Fanan and Lauren. The view of Yabucoa valley.

 

San Juan II: The Pet Village

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While huge parts of the Island are still recovering from Hurricane Maria that hit Puerto Rico in September 2017, the many dog shelters around San Juan are as busy as ever. PR Animals’ PET VILLAGE just opened recently and provides a home to over 30 dogs and cats rescued from the streets or from starvation at the beach.

I stayed there a couple of nights and hope my pictures can help so these furballs can soon find a forever home.  For more Information about PR Animals and their efforts to educate responsible pet ownership, their rescue work and for information about adoption and support please check out their website or leave me a note! PR Animals

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final call for passengers booked on flight CM 465 to San Juan

 
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Eigentlich hätte es doch leichter seien sollen, hier in Costa Rica, wo alle vom Paradies sprechen. Eigentlich hätte es doch mal anders werden können an diesen Orten wo Pura Vida auf jedem Schild steht. Und eigentlich dachte ich, ich hätte dieses mal alles besser gemacht. Und vielleicht liegt es ja auch nur an der Melancholie die Busfahrten im Regen und Flughäfen um Mitternacht so mit sich bringen, aber jetzt wo es mal wieder Zeit ist alles zurückzulassen frag ich mich schon ob ich nicht doch wieder alles missverstanden habe und vielleicht doch wieder mehr Fragen mitnehme als Antworten. 

Vielleicht hätte ich einfach in deinem Käfig bleiben sollen und vielleicht hätte ich ihn gern gegen meinen getauscht und vielleicht waren drei Kaffee zwei zu viel und vielleicht bin ich Costa Rica für genau diese Momente am meisten dankbar. Solche in denen ich mal wieder vergessen hatte, dass ich eigentlich keine sechzehn mehr bin und eigentlich doch alles für mich behalt. Wenn ich wieder einmal nach Worten suchen musste, die ich doch sonst niemals brauch und gar nicht anders konnte als zu staunen und zu schreiben, es tut mir leid zu murmeln und leise Danke zu sagen. Denn eigentlich, eigentlich, war es an den meisten Tagen doch ganz leicht und sogar ein kleines bisschen Paradies. 

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Chirripó

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Around Costa Rica’s highest mountain the unique ecosystem is shaped by rushing rivers, roaring waterfalls and heavy rainfalls. The indigenous people who still live within the cloudforest call the area Chirripó: Land of Eternal Water. 

In the last few years Mount Chirripó has become a popular tourist attraction among Ticos. Some people complete the return trip to the peak (3.820m) and back to the entrance of the Nationalpark at San Gerado Village (1520m) in a single day. After 20 hours of rumbling and tumbling I was one of them.  

When I was finally back at my hostel I could hardly remember the reasons for undertaking this little adventure. I barely took any pictures. But I somehow needed the night sky with all of its stars, I needed its silence and its solitude, the rivers and their infinite waters, the clouds within the forest and all of its crippled trees and untold stories.

 

Uvita III

 
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I stayed a couple of days and then a couple of days more.
and if it wasn’t for a mountain called Chirripó I would still be standing here every evening.
starring at the sea until the waves turn black.

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Uvita I: no blues

Nachdem am Vortag den ganzen Tag die Sonne brannte, schienen sich am zweite Tag in Uvita, der Himmel und das Meer einig zu sein alle Erinnerung an die Farbe Blau aus meinem Gedächtnis zu schwemmen.

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haunting memories II: zen

 

along the solitude walks in costa rica’s vivid nature and during theses never ending bus rides, the mind sometimes runs wild and brings back places, people and regrets I’ll be never able to forget.

 Heggenes, Norway - April 2018

Heggenes, Norway - April 2018

although I only spoke to dogs for most of the time and only met a hand full of people while I was living in Valdres, the few once that I’ve met did inspire me and shaped my image of Norway. Including of course Marit and Susana, two truly amazing women, who had to handle me for over 7 month. But this one goes out to a young veterinarian who helped me when I was at my worst. 

I felt so much emptiness after the misery that I have caused. For the pain he had to endure because of my failures. But the warmth and gentleness you’ve put in his treatment and the bold courtesy in wich you managed to overlook my ignorance and faults left me with nothing but gratitude.
You have chosen to dedicate your life to ease pain and rescue the lives of animals and that makes you the hero of my days. For you have not only saved Zen but also cured my state self-pity and regret. You gave this little man back the future that I had so carelessly endangered. So at last, from the bottom of my tiny heart: Thank you!