Afghanistan Diary
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
  Dogs with Rabies
Sweet discovery: the water supply unit has a detailed digitalized topographical map of the whole country. It is a 30 years old map, so here and there things have change a bit, but nevertheless it is a good map. And the best part is: it comes already georeferenced. I don’t know if I will use it in my project (I might) as the street map I have is more useful for most purposes. However, having this resource is great. Once I get my gps (in a few weeks) I will be able to download accurate map to my gps anywhere I go in Afghanistan.

I took a step back in my project, and I am now studying a few introductory chapter I had skipped. I am still hoping to start coding on the graphics part this Saturday.

One of the expat. Working for DACAAR has a dog. She was on holidays and asked one of her colleagues to take care of it in her absence. Yesterday, I heard the dog was very sick. I offered to go there. The dog was in pitiful shape. She had lost much of her coat, and underneath, the skin was irritated. The dog was still friendly. It was too late to do anything so we came back today at lunch time. Alexendra (the owner) was back already and the vet was there. He had just put her down (her, that is the dog, not Alexendra). As it turned out, the dog had rabies. As much as it saddens me, killing the dog (putting her to sleep if you prefer hypocritical euphemisms) was the right thing to do. Not only was the dog in a far too advance stage of the disease to be cured, but more importantly a dog with rabies constitute a serious health hazard. I would be very surprised if the chawkidars (guards) were vaccinated against rabbies and they are around the dog. I guess that is why you should vaccinate your pets against rabbies, but it is not an easy thing to do here. In general, people just don't have dogs as pet and this is true for most of the muslim world.

Giovanni (the guy looking after the dog) has some ethical problems caring about a dog when some many people needs care around us. I understand what he means; it is indeed indecent (but so is spending $10 on a meal). The thing though, is that I really like dogs, I feel a certain connection with them. Dogs like me and I feel good around them. Sometimes I think I like dogs more than people (which is not to say that I think one should care about dogs and not about people).
 
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This is my diary. My name is Lev and I work in Kabul for a non-governmental organization (dacaar.org).

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Location: Kabul, Afghanistan
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