Jessica Hughes travelled with her tutor and tutorial group from RVC to undertake EMS with VetAid. Travel grants from the Rachael Jackson Trust and The Southern Afghan Club Trust Bursary helped fund her trip.
Overall, our trip was completely amazing and the knowledge and experience we have gained from our time there will stay with us forever.
After a three-day stay in Narok, we headed to the Masai Mara where our on-farm work began. Our accommodation in the reserve was in a tented camp, and although by now we were quite friendly, nothing could quite have prepared us for sharing a canvas tent for two weeks, with just tented camp, and although by now we were quite friendly, nothing could quite have prepared us for sharing a canvas tent for two weeks, with just one toilet and the inevitable toilet troubles.Who knew fighting your way through mosquito nets to try to reach the loo could be likened to taking part in a Tough Mudder?
The farms we were to visit were located on the outskirts of the reserve, and most days we would set off in our Jeep early in the morning. The plan was to arrive at the farms before midday and be able to work until it got too hot.
On the farms we wormed and vaccinated cattle against east coast fever, and sheep and goats against pox. Visiting the farms was a real eye-opener. It was a complete culture shock, but such an amazing experience and one that I can’t recommend enough, especially if you are interested in being a farm vet. Everything was shocking. I saw Kenyans restrain cows weighing a 1000 lbs and having the biggest horns I’d ever seen while wearing nothing on their feet!
During our work on the farms we were also granted permission to go on game drives around the park. This was an incredible experience and a dream come true for us all. We were even lucky enough to be taken out by the Kenyan Wildlife Service to try to spot a white rhino.