Sep 24, 2018

Have a HART: Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust (Part Two)

animal rescue, cats, charity, dogs, HART, himalayan animal rescue team, Nepal, non profit, pokhara, rescue, sterilization, treatment, vaccination,
Our new baby Tux tells it like it is.
 In part two of my post on HART (Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust), I'll be sharing with you the first ever feline sterilization day held at the clinic! Our tomcat Spotty was one of the patients being surged upon here in Pokhara. The Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust works to improve the lives of animals throughout Nepal with public education, rescue, treatment, neutering, and anti-rabies vaccination clinics daily.

animal rescue, cats, charity, dogs, HART, himalayan animal rescue team, Nepal, non profit, pokhara, rescue, sterilization, treatment, vaccination,

No dogs were scheduled to be seen that day at the facility due to potential conflict with feline patients. There were a few canine malingerers outside in the clinic courtyard like this sad fellow wearing his "cone of shame" though.

animal rescue, cats, charity, dogs, HART, himalayan animal rescue team, Nepal, non profit, pokhara, rescue, sterilization, treatment, vaccination,

And the kitties began arriving for surgery in baskets, bags, and blankets! The only other time there had ever been anything like a kitty sterilization day was in 2010 when HART had just started and we begged them to neuter all 5 of our cats. Back then HART was so busy sterilizing dogs they simply did not have time to deal with cats.

animal rescue, cats, charity, dogs, HART, himalayan animal rescue team, Nepal, non profit, pokhara, rescue, sterilization, treatment, vaccination,

This lady brought her beloved cat to be spayed in a shopping bag. No Problem! Whatever works!

animal rescue, cats, charity, dogs, HART, himalayan animal rescue team, Nepal, non profit, pokhara, rescue, sterilization, treatment, vaccination,

Soon the entire waiting area in the office was full of ladies and their cats! It was quite warm on this misty Monsoon morning in late July.  In total there were 5 female cats and two males brought in by their owners for sterilization. I was really amazed because keeping pets is a new thing South Asia and cats aren't particularly well thought of here.

animal rescue, cats, charity, dogs, HART, himalayan animal rescue team, Nepal, non profit, pokhara, rescue, sterilization, treatment, vaccination,

One by one all the kitties were sedated, shaved, and prepared for surgery. This cat is female so her belly and side have been shorn, washed, and swabbed with Betadine.

animal rescue, cats, charity, dogs, HART, himalayan animal rescue team, Nepal, non profit, pokhara, rescue, sterilization, treatment, vaccination,

The waiting room became a little jugaadi (make-do) post-surgery recovery room. Flattened cardboard boxes, old newspapers, old towels, and even the owner's shawls were used as blankets and mattresses. This is definitely a "no frills" sort of clinic but it got the job done!

animal rescue, cats, charity, dogs, HART, himalayan animal rescue team, Nepal, non profit, pokhara, rescue, sterilization, treatment, vaccination,

And then it was our Spotty's turn! He is put in a special cage to receive his injection for sedation. The red plastic coated bars are attached to the floor of the cage which can be lifted to press uncooperative patients' bodies against the side of the cage. When the cat is secured against the side of the cage for injection it is safer for all parties involved.

animal rescue, cats, charity, dogs, HART, himalayan animal rescue team, Nepal, non profit, pokhara, rescue, sterilization, treatment, vaccination,

It was really heartwarming seeing the love and genuine concern these "pawrents" had for their cats. The lady in the red sweater is the one who brought her cat in a shopping bag. She is cradling her female kitty who just came out of surgery with her shawl.

animal rescue, cats, charity, dogs, HART, himalayan animal rescue team, Nepal, non profit, pokhara, rescue, sterilization, treatment, vaccination,

A veterinary technician attended the little improvised post-op recovery unit. She oversaw the recoveries diligently.

animal rescue, cats, charity, dogs, HART, himalayan animal rescue team, Nepal, non profit, pokhara, rescue, sterilization, treatment, vaccination,

Spotty was the third cat to be operated on. Here he is getting his temperature checked by the technician. (He peed on the tech after having his temperature taken.) One other male cat and three more female cats where successfully sterilized that day! YAY!

animal rescue, cats, charity, dogs, HART, himalayan animal rescue team, Nepal, non profit, pokhara, rescue, sterilization, treatment, vaccination,
Spotty & Tux!
And here's our healthy, happy, and neutered Spotty fully recovered! He's hugging his newly adopted little brother Tux (short for tuxedo.) Tux had a bit of tummy trouble when we first brought him home from Catmandu Lovers Cat Hotel & Spa .  We took Tux for a visit with the vets at HART  and he was soon on the mend!

animal rescue, cats, charity, dogs, HART, himalayan animal rescue team, Nepal, non profit, pokhara, rescue, sterilization, treatment, vaccination,

The important work  Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust is funded solely by donations.  HART needs funds, equipment, expertise and a lot of hard work to make a lasting difference in animals' lives. An online donation can be made here.  Whatever gift you choose will help save animals from suffering and give them the treatment and care they need. Any qualified vets and vet nurses who can volunteer their time and expertise are more than welcome. To find out more about this, please contact Khageshwaar Sharma. If you are traveling to Nepal and can bring a few items, please contact Barbara Webb. The cost of shipping to Nepal is high and delivery is not always certain, so a kindly carrier can assist enormously. Please see HART's "wish list"  for items they always need.

animal rescue, cats, charity, dogs, HART, himalayan animal rescue team, Nepal, non profit, pokhara, rescue, sterilization, treatment, vaccination,
And meows too!
Any pawrents out there? Tell me about your furbabies!
And how are you on this second day of Autumn? 
We're still scorching at 93F/34C daily although the Monsoon rains have tapered off and balmy breezes have started.
 Bella ciao, Bibi ;)

Sep 17, 2018

Farida Omar's Chicken Curry

 Farida Omar's chicken curry, recipe, farida omar, chicken, curry, easy, simple, authentic, beginner, guarat, gujarati, indian, south africa, nelson mandela, dullah omar,

Farida Omar is the widow of anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela's lawyer, Dullah Omar. Her culinary talents are legendary and her biryanis, curries, and samosas fortified Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, and Ahmed Kathrada during their incarceration. This is Mrs. Omar's classic recipe for the delicious chicken curry her husband would smuggle into Mr. Mandela while in Pollsmoor prison, Cape Town.

Farida Omar's chicken curry, recipe, farida omar, chicken, curry, easy, simple, authentic, beginner, guarat, gujarati, indian, south africa, nelson mandela, dullah omar,

This recipe is from the 2008 book Hunger for Freedom, the Story of Food in the Life of Nelson Mandela, by Anna Trapido. I found this book while perusing The Guardian  a few years ago. The author, Anna Trepido, is an anthropologist and trained chef as well as a food writer and broadcaster. The book is a brilliantly written gastro-political biography of Nelson Mandela's life. Nelson Mandela's food preferences reveal a multi-racial and multi-cultural anti-apartheid alliance where Thayanagee Pillay made coffee for prisoners awaiting trial, Farida Omar had chicken curry smuggled to Nelson Mandela at Pollsmoor Prison, George Bizos cooked Greek lamb on a spit to celebrate victories, and Ray Harmel served chopped liver in times of trouble. From the corn grinding stone of Nelson Mandela's boyhood to presidential banquets, this book is as much a historical work as a culinary reference. The recipes are all well written and amazing too!

Farida Omar's chicken curry, recipe, farida omar, chicken, curry, easy, simple, authentic, beginner, guarat, gujarati, indian, south africa, nelson mandela, dullah omar,
(via)
I couldn't find much information online about Farida Omar. From a South African pal, I have learned that her parents were fruit and vegetable vendors and immigrants from Gujarat. Her husband, the famed anti-Apartheid activist and human rights lawyer Dullah Omar, passed away in 2004. She is the mother of three children and has two grandchildren also. Mrs. Omar and her children continue to be human rights activists in South Africa and around the globe. In 2017 she received the Masjidul-Quds Lifetime Community Service Award in Century City, Cape Town.

Farida Omar's chicken curry, recipe, farida omar, chicken, curry, easy, simple, authentic, beginner, guarat, gujarati, indian, south africa, nelson mandela, dullah omar,
Looking at the simple list of ingredients this might seem like just another average chicken curry. But Mrs. Omar has a few tricks up her sleeve that set her recipe apart from the rest! For a little extra richness, color, and flavor she adds a tablespoon of tinned tomato paste. I've seen tinned tomato paste used in many recipes of the Indian diaspora in Africa and western countries. Tinned tomato paste is preferred because it is less sweet than tinned tomato puree. It is also quite similar in flavor to "bhuna masala." where the tomatoes are fried down to a rich paste for a curry base. She also adds the fresh ginger and ground spices at the end rather than frying them into oblivion with the onions as is frequently done. The ginger and coriander retain thus a bit more vibrancy giving the curry a brighter flavor.

Farida Omar's chicken curry, recipe, farida omar, chicken, curry, easy, simple, authentic, beginner, guarat, gujarati, indian, south africa, nelson mandela, dullah omar,

All in all this a great basic chicken curry for beginners to try or old pros to add to their repertoire. The only changes I have made are adjusting the amount of liquid and the cooking time of this recipe. I increased the chicken stock or water from 1&1/2 cups to 2 cups because the sauce seemed a bit thick. Mrs. Omar stews her chicken for a good 40 minutes, I find both potatoes and chicken both take about 20 to 25 minutes to braise to perfection on my stove. (Perhaps the African chickens Mrs. Omar cooks are the tougher free-range sorts?)  This recipe perfectly demonstrates the traditional building of flavors and complexity in Indian cooking layer by layer. Yet it is not so overly complicated with long lists of ingredients and numerous intricate steps as to be intimidating. The result is a delectably rich, deep red, and vibrantly savory chicken curry! Enjoy!

Ingredients
1 large whole chicken, portioned & skinned
3 TBS sunflower oil or cooking oil of choice
3 green cardamoms/elaichi, bruised with a mortar pestle
2-inch cinnamon stick or piece of cassia bark/dalchini
4 cloves/laung
1 TBS butter or ghee
2 onions, sliced thinly into half moons
2 tsp garlic/lahsun paste
2 big tomatoes, pureed or finely diced
1 TBS tinned tomato paste
1 TBS grated fresh root ginger/adrakh
1 TBS coriander/dhania powder
2 tsp cumin/jeera powder
1 to 2 tsp red chili powder (I used Kashmiri mirch, use less for less heat)
½ tsp turmeric/haldi
2 C chicken stock/shorba or water
6-8 small potatoes, peeled and halved

Here's what to do:
1) Heat cooking oil in large heavy-bottomed skillet or kadhai for about 5 minutes. Fry the cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves in the oil until they release their aroma.

Farida Omar's chicken curry, recipe, farida omar, chicken, curry, easy, simple, authentic, beginner, guarat, gujarati, indian, south africa, nelson mandela, dullah omar,

2) Add the butter and the onions and fry until translucent. Add the garlic and stir through. Cook for about 2 minutes or until the garlic has lost it's raw smell.

Farida Omar's chicken curry, recipe, farida omar, chicken, curry, easy, simple, authentic, beginner, guarat, gujarati, indian, south africa, nelson mandela, dullah omar,

3) Add the pureed tomato and tomato paste and cook over a low heat for 5- 7 minutes to form a thick sauce.
Farida Omar's chicken curry, recipe, farida omar, chicken, curry, easy, simple, authentic, beginner, guarat, gujarati, indian, south africa, nelson mandela, dullah omar,

4) When you see the oil coming to the top of the sauce add the chicken pieces, ginger, coriander, cumin, chili, and turmeric. Stir well.

5) Add 2 cups water or chicken stock and potatoes and bring mixture to a simmer. Cover and allow the curry to braise until chicken is tender and potatoes are very soft.  (This usually takes about 25 to 30 minutes on my stove.) Serve with rice, rotis, and a few fresh chutneys for a complete meal.

Farida Omar's chicken curry, recipe, farida omar, chicken, curry, easy, simple, authentic, beginner, guarat, gujarati, indian, south africa, nelson mandela, dullah omar,

Sep 10, 2018

Have a HART: Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust (Part One)

HART, himalayan animal rescue team, pokhara, nepal, sterilization, vaccination, animal rescue, dogs, cats, rescue, treatment, charity, non profit,

"No Babies, No Rabies" is the motto of our local nonprofit veterinary charitable organization here in Nepal. The Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust works to improve the lives of animals throughout Nepal with public education, rescue, treatment, neutering, and anti-rabies vaccination clinics daily.

HART, himalayan animal rescue team, pokhara, nepal, sterilization, vaccination, animal rescue, dogs, cats, rescue, treatment, charity, non profit,

The Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust was founded in 2010 and is a registered charity based just outside the city of Pokhara, about 200 km from Nepal's capital, Kathmandu. They treat all domestic animals, although most of their patients are dogs. HART strives to build an environment where animals are respected and cared for in their own communities. Through their many educational programs and mobile clinics, they work to eradicate animal distress, disease, neglect, and cruelty in Nepal.


Street dogs are a serious public health and safety menace across India and Nepal. Every year 100 to 200 people die of rabies in Nepal (mostly children) and 35,000 people are treated for dog bites. ( I can't find any numbers on dog maulings of humans or livestock in Nepal but I can say I have seen quite a few in years past.) The normal lifespan of a street dog is estimated to be around three years, due to the dangers of street life most puppies do not survive. It is estimated that there are 22,000 street dogs in the city of Kathmandu alone. In the past, local citizens and city governments here in Nepal would put out meat poisoned with strychnine in attempts to control the street dog population. This is a horrific form of death, throwing the dogs into violent seizures for up to nine hours before they die. The dog carcasses would then be tossed into the nearest river creating a further public health hazard. Thankfully, since the advent of HART and other animal rescue organizations, this inhumane practice has stopped. The mistreatment and neglect of animals in South Asia is really heartbreaking.

HART, himalayan animal rescue team, pokhara, nepal, sterilization, vaccination, animal rescue, dogs, cats, rescue, treatment, charity, non profit,

I can recall when I first came to Nepal 20 years ago the packs of feral dogs roaming the street were quite scary. The late-night yowling, growls, barking, and yowls almost made it near impossible to sleep. Today, the street dog situation is vastly improved. Problematic dogs are now captured by a net and transported to the HART clinic for neutering and vaccination.

HART, himalayan animal rescue team, pokhara, nepal, sterilization, vaccination, animal rescue, dogs, cats, rescue, treatment, charity, non profit,

This is one of HART's new Mahindra Bolero Campers used to transport both animals and crew members to and from the clinic. If you look carefully at the sticker on the door you can see this vehicle was paid for by Lush's Charity Pot funding program.




Charity Pot is a hand and body lotion made by the UK cosmetics company Lush featuring shea butter, rosewood oil, moringa oil, and ylang-ylang oil. With every purchase of Charity Pot, Lush donates 100% of the price (minus the taxes) to small, grassroots organizations that could use the helping hand to continue the incredible work that they do. It's really great to see those donations put to such good use!

HART, himalayan animal rescue team, pokhara, nepal, sterilization, vaccination, animal rescue, dogs, cats, rescue, treatment, charity, non profit,

HART holds anti-rabies vaccination mobile clinics all across Nepal. HART's goal is to vaccinate over 70% of the dog population. This is the level at which statistics determine that the rabies risk to humans becomes minimal. This high level of vaccination coverage is achieved by walking through each ward injecting all the un-immunized animals found. Each jab is recorded in HART's purpose-written mobile phone app. The ward is revisited until the statistics indicate that a minimum of 70% of dogs are vaccinated. The anti-rabies vaccination mobile vaccination clinics are repeated annually and are quite an expensive and time-consuming program.

HART, himalayan animal rescue team, pokhara, nepal, sterilization, vaccination, animal rescue, dogs, cats, rescue, treatment, charity, non profit,

HART regularly distributes leaflets on the avoidance of dog bites and rabies information at schools and public events. Basic pet care and respect for animals is also taught to school children in educational programs. HART staff frequently appear at municipal functions to improve public awareness on the humane treatment of animals and the long-term benefits of their sterilization program.

HART, himalayan animal rescue team, pokhara, nepal, sterilization, vaccination, animal rescue, dogs, cats, rescue, treatment, charity, non profit,

After the 2012 earthquakes in Nepal HART traveled to the hardest hit region, Sindhupalchowk. The HART team hosted a group of veterinarians from Australia to treat livestock injured in the disaster.  Many livestock animals had been injured suffering everything from broken backs to minor scratches.

HART, himalayan animal rescue team, pokhara, nepal, sterilization, vaccination, animal rescue, dogs, cats, rescue, treatment, charity, non profit,

This year the HART team was invited to return to the Everest region to conduct anti-rabies and neutering clinics. That's a long, long way from their home base here in Pokhara. The net, the autoclave, the entire mobile surgery, and a lot of anti-rabies vaccines had to be hauled by human, donkey, and yak up there. Over a hundred dogs were neutered and several vaccinated.







Our beloved kitty Baacha Khan had been feeling poorly, we had to wait for the HART team to return from their trip to the Everest region to take him to clinic. Above you can see him being weighed in on the left. On the right, he's receiving fluids subcutaneously and a blood is drawn for testing. We had to take the blood to a nearby hospital lab to be tested.

HART, himalayan animal rescue team, pokhara, nepal, sterilization, vaccination, animal rescue, dogs, cats, rescue, treatment, charity, non profit,

While we were waiting for the results from the blood test I strolled about the open air clinic. As you can see by the sign behind the veterinary technician's head in the above photo the base clinic here in Pokhara is open from 9AM to 2PM daily. (That's only if the team isn't out and about on one of their mobile clinic and vaccination tours.) Having regular daily clinic hours is fairly new, a few years back they were always out about town catching, vaccinating, neutering, and releasing street dogs.

HART, himalayan animal rescue team, pokhara, nepal, sterilization, vaccination, animal rescue, dogs, cats, rescue, treatment, charity, non profit,

The operating room for large animals (at least bigger than a cat) is also open air so I watched a dog's wounds being cleaned, debrided, and stitched closed.

HART, himalayan animal rescue team, pokhara, nepal, sterilization, vaccination, animal rescue, dogs, cats, rescue, treatment, charity, non profit,

It was amazing to see so many Nepalis bringing their pets to the HART clinic. Pet ownership is fairly new in Nepal and a medical facility that treats pets is a new idea also. These women brought their pet dog to be seen at clinic. He's receiving fluids on a table in the fenced courtyard.

HART, himalayan animal rescue team, pokhara, nepal, sterilization, vaccination, animal rescue, dogs, cats, rescue, treatment, charity, non profit,

Another concerned lady brought in a neighborhood street dog in for treatment that had a horrible case of mange. Street dogs often suffer severe skin infections and diseases here in Nepal.

HART, himalayan animal rescue team, pokhara, nepal, sterilization, vaccination, animal rescue, dogs, cats, rescue, treatment, charity, non profit,

 A caring new pet owner also brought her healthy dog to clinic to be vaccinated.

HART, himalayan animal rescue team, pokhara, nepal, sterilization, vaccination, animal rescue, dogs, cats, rescue, treatment, charity, non profit,

A concerned lady brought in this terribly emaciated pup from her neighborhood. Turns out he has a really bad case of gastritis and can't keep his food down very well.

HART, himalayan animal rescue team, pokhara, nepal, sterilization, vaccination, animal rescue, dogs, cats, rescue, treatment, charity, non profit,

A cat! I have never seen anyone bring a cat to the HART clinic besides us. Poor kitty looks to be in bad shape and her owner was quite distraught. People kept bringing animals so they actually had to extend clinic hours that day.


Unfortunately, the Baacha Khan's blood work determined that he was positive for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) in addition to a severe liver infection and advanced kidney failure. The FIV had destroyed his immune system to the point that he could no longer fight off infection like a normal, healthy cat.  FIV is very rare in western countries but is unfortunately common in South Asia. The controversial FIV vaccine is not available in Nepal yet. To our surprise, HART now offers humane euthanasia at no cost and that is what the veterinarian recommended. So we said goodbye to our best and most handsome kitty and stayed with him until he passed. His Imperial Majesty will always reign supreme in our hearts.

HART, himalayan animal rescue team, pokhara, nepal, sterilization, vaccination, animal rescue, dogs, cats, rescue, treatment, charity, non profit,

The important work  done by Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust is funded solely by donations.  HART needs funds, equipment, expertise and a lot of hard work to make a lasting difference in animals' lives. An online donation can be made here.  Whatever gift you choose will help save animals from suffering and give them the treatment and care they need. Any qualified vets and vet nurses who can volunteer their time and expertise are more than welcome. To find out more about this, please contact Khageshwaar Sharma. If you are traveling to Nepal and can bring a few items, please contact Barbara Webb. The cost of shipping to Nepal is high and delivery is not always certain, so a kindly carrier can assist enormously. Please see HART's "wish list"  for items they always need.

HART, himalayan animal rescue team, pokhara, nepal, sterilization, vaccination, animal rescue, dogs, cats, rescue, treatment, charity, non profit,
To be continued!!!!

Yep, after 50+ day hiatus, I'm back to blogging! Coming at you via a brand-spankin' new fiber optic cable internet connection that's tripping the light fantastic too! Hope all is well with you and yours and I look forward to sharing my adventures with y'all just as soon as I get my photos sorted and about 3 tonnes of laundry done. And of course, I've got lots more new recipes to post!
So how have you been?
What's your favorite animal-related charity?
Anyone else go abroad for their summer vacation? Do share!
Whew,
Bibi  ;)

Jul 9, 2018

On the Road to Shambala


Wash away my troubles, wash away my pain
With the rain in Shambala


Wash away my sorrow, wash away my shame 
With the rain in Shambala
 

Everyone is helpful, everyone is kind,
Out on the road to Shambala


Everyone is lucky, everyone is so kind,
On the road to Shambala


I can tell my sister by the flowers in her eyes,
On the road to Shambala


I can tell my brother by the flowers in his eyes,
On the road to Shambala


Ah, ooh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
On the road to Shambala


How does your light shine, in the halls of Shambala?
Please tell me, how does your light shine in the halls of Shambala?


That was Three Dog Night's 1973 hit version of "On the Road to Shambhala" if you were wondering. Yes, Bibi is certainly a member of the MTV generation as she even puts posts to music. If you ever wondered what Shambhala is- it's a mythical Buddhist kingdom surrounded by snow capped mountains where the final incarnation of Vishnu will occur. Indeed, it was the inspiration for the Shangri-La of James Hilton's Lost Horizon. This legendary kingdom may or may not be extra-dimensional or on the etheric plane. Anywho, we're off on a family vacation for about a month during which I shall not be posting due to lack of internet service. We might end up in Shambala, who knows? Until then,

Gonna keep on tryin'
Till I reach my highest ground! 

(Red Hot Chili Peppers' 1989 version)
No one's gonna bring me down, Oh no......

Bibi ;)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Printfriendly