The 4th and 5th days of our American Samoa campaign took place in the village of Leone, in the home of local resident Andrea Samoa. Like all of our hosts, Andrea welcomed us with open arms and gave us complete run of her home.
We set up surgery, prep and recovery 1 in the living room. Recovery 2 and intake were right outside on the porch and in the beautiful front yard. It was a hub of activity for two days. We were once again working alongside Dr. Kristen Jensen and the team from the Department of Agriculture. They were rising dogs while we worked on the cats. We did over 70 cats from Leone and the surrounding villages.
The energy of this team is astounding! They worked right through the typical day 4 exhaustion and came out the other side smiling, laughing and ready to go for the final day of the campaign.
As the clinic ran smoothly at the house on the 5th day, the trapping team headed out to the National Park with some of the park service rangers. They drove over a mountain and to the other side of the island, to the village of Vatia. Working alongside the staff from the National Park has proven to be invaluable for many reasons. They know the island and all the villages, they help with the intense physical labor of lugging traps and transporting cats. But most importantly, they have been able to act as cultural liaisons for us. The more remote villages are very traditional. In order to do anything, one must first get permission from the village Chief. The guys from the park service have been able to speak with the chiefs and gain access for the team to go in and trap in the villages.