Saturday, July 30, 2011

Deux Jours ... et Puis - les Etats-Unis! (2 Days .... and then - the United States! )

Thursday morning with the Vet was such a cool experience! Before we left for the farms, he showed me around the clinic, explaining everything in English, for he was from Belgum and could speak both French and English at the same level. This was good because there were several scientific terms that don’t translate so easily; for example: progesterone = progesterone while pneu = skin. Our first farm was on a farm to see a cow that just gave birth a week prior. She wasn’t excreting her urine properly so the vet had a look. The diagnosis was that the farmer pulled a bit too hard during the birth, wherein he ripped a part of the uterus. In other words, her urine was spilling into her uterus – ow. So he gave her several medications using a catheter for smooth injections. He also gave the farmer medication for the ear for a later date. I was told that this sort of injection was first used by Americans and that it was brilliant because of the withdrawal time.  Our second farm involved two cows which were both not eating correctly. I forget exactly why, but I do know that the cows were too sick to be properly fixed. They needed to be put down, but the farmer wouldn’t listenL. After a quick stop at the clinic to pick up the necessary tools and medications, we stopped at a farm and met with one of the other vets. Turns out, I got very lucky, as it only happens about twice a year… I saw a horse get castrated! Since the anesthesia would only last about 30 minutes(IF the weight that the farmer gave us was correct), they had to work fast. It turned out that their timing was impeccable and the castration was successful.
I was picked up by Laurence(farmer’s wife) for lunch and then left with her and the girls for Rennes. Nicolas picked me up for the last time. I’m staying at his house for the rest of my time in France. Yesterday I spent the morning with Nicolas, visiting twelve farms for inseminations. After lunch, I switched off and left with Damien. He had five farms; however one involved 32 cows and 11 heifers! Julian met up to help. This was fun because I helped read the numbers out loud to identify which cow received which strain of sperm. We eventually made it back to Nicolas’ where the two spent some time talking and I left for a run and later workout. Once dinner rolled around, Nicolas, Anais, and I left for dinner at a Creperie in Rennes. Both my dad and I took them out for dinner as a thanks for everything; my dad was there in spirit … and payment – thank you Dad! Anais and I got a salmon, crème fraiche, lemon, and chive galette with salad on the side (my galette however included goat cheese). Nicolas got one with ham, cheese, and eggs I believe. We shared a bottle of cidre and alter ordered crepes for dessert; one with peaches(me), with salted caramel(Nikos), and with Spekkulos(Anais). It was a great, relaxing, gourmet night out.
As for today, I had the choice to visit the farms with Nicolas/Nikos for the inseminations or stay back. It’s my second to last day here so I planned to spend the morning out in the town, visiting the local shops. I returned with tomatoes, a nectarine, fresh French bread, an apricot pastry, and pictures. (maybe even a bit tanner?) I shared the bread with Nikos and his colleagues for lunch and split the apricot pastry with just Nikos since it was too small and I didn’t know we were having company. Everyone brought their lunch and we ate out on the terrace under the sun. The rest of my day has been very lax- working on my report, watching a movie, etc. Tonight Anais works late so Nikos and I may eat at a friend’s house. I’ve got to run over to the grocery store before they close(7:30pm) because they’re closed Sundays. Hopefully Nikos will finish his work soon! For my last day tomorrow, I have no idea if we’re doing anything or not. It all depends on if Anais is working as well as the availability of friends. It’s going to be beautiful and would be perfect for the beach. Not sure what’s going to happen. Until then.
P.s. My blog is soon coming to a close. 2 days left!

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