For a long time, my 13 year old son has wanted to be a vet. He also wants to be a chef but has decided that should probably be a hobby rather than a career after watching a ton of episodes of Top Chef on television. This semester he is taking a career orientation course (best invention ever really, wish they’d had this when I was young) which requires him to don appropriate work attire, research his chosen field, shadow his occupation, design and create business cards and the like. Several nights ago, he wanted to talk to me about his career path (schooling, post study, internships, what looks good on a vet school app and future resume) and wanted to know if there was a “Vets without Borders” program like there is for human doctors.
After some googling, we learned that there is such a program based in Canada. But it’s not exactly what he was hoping for. Definitely not on the scope of the Docs without Borders program. He also found a place that does trips to Mexico to offer spay and neuter clinics. Still no appeal to him. Then we sort of landed on the mothership of animal volunteering: an animal rescue group in Nepal. Due to my own hiking interest, the kids have been listening to me talk about Nepal since they were in diapers. They know the difference between Camp 1 and ABC. They know where Pokhara and Lukla are on a map and can tell you how many days it takes the average trekker to go from Kathmandu to Everest Base Camp if they walk the entire way. So to find something in Nepal sort of threw him for a loop.
Looking at the video of what the rescue did, what their goals were and how readily they accept volunteers, my son had made his mind up. He stayed up half the night printing out information on flights, hotels, estimated costs, vaccination and visa requirements including phone numbers for local travel clinics (by local, I mean 70 miles away is the nearest one). And then he went on a penny hunt…checking under every cushion, every nook in the vehicle, every clothing pocket to start the “Nepal puppy fund” to get us over there.
He knows it will take at minimum a year for us to get there and that every penny will need to be saved to do it. And yet, despite all those obstacles (and the news that he’d have to drink yak butter tea each day) he is still determined. So…I guess we’re now saving to visit the puppies in Nepal. Funny how life works out sometimes.