Friday, August 7, 2009

Back from Papua New Guinea

[guest post by Ryan]

We just got back out of Papua New Guinea and are now in the Kuala Lumpur airport, back in the land of free and readily available Wi-Fi. We had a great time in PNG and will have several blog posts about it forthcoming. We are headed to Ha Noi now and then the northern reaches of Vietnam where I think there will be more internet than PNG, hopefully. For the first blog post, I'll post some photos of our sampling in the coastal areas of PNG near Port Moresby. Later we'll have photos of our Highlands sampling and some stories---there were some great moments! Without further adieu, some photos with blurbs for context:

Me weighing one of the dogs; always a favorite with the children.

Cori showing off her cassowary-feather bag (bilum) given to her by the village leader's wife. It was the first of eight bilums we got...

Cori appearing as the Virgin Mary in the midst of the villagers (damn dirty lens). In any case, all those people crowded around the truck we were sampling in for the entire time!

The dogs in PNG were very small (some as small as 6 pounds full-grown); the smallest we've sampled yet. Many of them also had cute, enormous bat ears, like this guy here.

A very proud dog owner with his less-than-thrilled muzzled best friend.

Smiles all around :).

Cori drawing blood in the bed of a pick-up truck by the sea.

Cori drawing blood on the verandah of a stilt house over the sea.

The view from said verandah.

This dog does not look particularly comfortable/willing, but she's quite cute.

Such a friendly, friendly dog making friends with Cori!

The guys helping us at the Port Moresby Pound. Not a fun place to work and I'm sure they get paid a pittance, but there are people like this all over the world helping animals in whatever way they can.

This is a very mangy dog at the Port Moresby Pound. The way this pound works is that they get calls from people about very, very sick dogs on the streets. Then they collect the dogs and determine if they are beyond the ability to save. If so, they euthanize them. It sounds barbaric, but really this seems like one of the more humane and targeted ways at controlling the problems associated with unrestricted street dog populations. Still it was sad to see and take blood from several dogs destined to be euthanized in the next couple days.

When the dogs arrive at the Port Moresby Pound, they are washed---with up to a dozen dogs in a cage! They are not well-funded and do the best with what they have, but it was sad to see the conditions there. You certainly can't blame the Pound employees though who seemed to be doing the best they could with the resources they had.
Also, here are our current stats:
20 flights
9 time zones
139:15 traveling hours [note this only counts flight-associated travel time]
39,846 travel miles
18 countries (counting all landings and time spent on the ground at all)
14 countries (counting only those countries we left the airport)

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