Mission Rabies: Mission Accepted!
|Boy hugging a street dog in Kathmandu|
On July 13th, I received an email from Brief Media. They are the publishers of Clinician’s Brief, a veterinary journal. I’ve subscribed to this journal for years, mainly because it’s a very practical journal for practitioners, I also liked that the editor in chief is Indu Mani. When I was doing my internal medicine residency at Colorado State University back in the ‘90’s, Indu was a senior student. She was smart and fun back then, and I liked seeing her little portrait on the masthead of the journal. I’m on Brief Media’s mailing list, and I regularly get e-mails that give me a preview of the articles in the upcoming issue of the journal. I give these e-mails a cursory glance, at most; I just wait for the journal to arrive. This e-mail, however, was different. Rather than the signature red and white graphics of the Clinician’s Brief journal, this e-mail had a photo of people in yellow shirts trekking through an exotic locale, with a headline that said “Mission Rabies Helps More Than Just Animals”. In a smaller font below that, it continued with, “Join the Volunteer Teams Working to Eliminate Rabies Across the Globe”. Intrigued, I read further. The text of the e-mail said:
Brief Media, publisher of Clinician’s Brief, is once again partnering with Mission Rabies to send a team of veterinary professionals to a rabies hotspot to help eliminate rabies and save human and animal lives. Volunteers will work with local and international veterinarians, dog handlers, and veterinary nurses to help vaccinate dogs against rabies.
What you need to know:This vaccination drive will take place in Goa, India, between October 13th and October 27th, with two days of travel at the beginning and end of the trip.The ideal applicant displays leadership and initiative and would be comfortable working with locals in a foreign country.Applicants do not need a veterinary background but should be comfortable around animals, be up-to-date on rabies vaccinations, and have both a passport and a visa.Brief Media has secured funding for a portion of the participation costs (e.g. lodging, food, and travel in India). Applicants will be responsible for airfare, vaccinations, travel documents, and any optional excursion costs.
The e-mail closed with the statement: These volunteer teams have a tremendous impact on the reduction of rabies around the world. Don’t miss your chance to take part in this incredible humanitarian and animal welfare project.
It’s amazing sometimes how timing works.
|Weird looking dog in Nepal|
|Sweet dog in a cafe in Ubud|
I responded to the e-mail with major interest, and I was led to an online application, which I filled out. Part of the application asked me to list three professional references. I went onto Facebook and sent Indu a message, asking if I could list her as a reference. She was very excited to hear that I was interested, and she personally contacted the volunteer coordinator and put in a good word for me. It definitely is nice to have friends in influential positions. I filled out the rest of the form and submitted the application. I then headed to Amsterdam, for vacation. I was contacted by e-mail by the coordinator, and taking into account the time difference between the U.S. and Amsterdam, we scheduled a Skype interview which went very well. About two weeks after that, I received the e-mail that I was anxiously hoping for. My application was approved, and I was invited to join the volunteer team on their upcoming mission to Goa, India.