Winter has definitely started in Malawi ( know you people from colder climes will probably laugh at me for claiming that our temps are freezing but we are getting down to 11 degrees Celsius in the wee hours of the morning which for us folk used to living in hot climates it seems very cold). The rains have gone and the grass has stopped growing and is turning browner by the hour.


Great news for brick making which has started again but not so great for the grazing animals who don’t get as much nutrition from the brown grass. Miss Lisa (one of our old mares) is notoriously greedy and will try to taste anything that is still a bit green, sometimes fine but every now and then it is not so clever as some plants will cause a colic which is what happened yesterday. I got a panicked phone call from Nyson to say that Miss Lisa was sweating and rolling in the paddock so I rushed back to investigate. Sure enough it was a colic but I do keep a “vet box” on hand with all of the basic drugs that I may require and an IV injection of pyro flam solved the problem, within 10 mins of injecting her she was back to normal – head down and eating some fresh green grass that Nyson had cut down by the river for her. I am really lucky to have Nyson who is a great groom, loves his horses to bits and notices any problems very quickly which makes all the difference when it comes to treatment. With anything the sooner you can start treatment the easier it is to cure.

 Vet drugs are very few and far between in Malawi so I stock up whenever I travel out of the country, it does mean that we throw away a lot of expired drugs as we have to keep a full stock of drugs to be ready for any emergency that may occur but it is a better alternative than not being able to get the drug you require in time to save an animal. We do use human alternatives from time to time and the local pharmacy has now got used to be coming in to purchase rather large quantities of unusual drugs in fact whenever I go in now I get greeted with “ok is this for a human or some other strange animal”. We have also made friends with Dr Abraham at the local hospital down the road and he is no longer surprised when one of us rushes in and raids the ER and the pharmacy in fact we even have a credit facility there now where we can get drugs and equipment and then come to pay later which is a great help. One of the positives of living in a small community is that people will work together and I am now pretty well known as “that crazy lady who needs strange things for an assortment of animals”. Even the police at the road blocks are known to have a good look in my car in case I have some sort of interesting animal inside.

I am getting a little frustrated with the pole saga as having paid for the poles last Friday I was expecting to be cutting them this week but the man in charge of the forest who accepted the money omitted to tell me that he was going on holiday the next day and so would not be available to arrange for me to go and cut…………. AWA – Africa wins again, it is certainly a lesson in patience which I am afraid I am not very good at.