400 days to graduation…

Chris in Slovak Paradise

What feels like forever ago when I first started my diary I was counting up each day another day on my journey to becoming a vet. Now however I am counting down – that is either scary that I will be released onto poor unsuspecting animals, or amazing that I will finally be able to put my hard won skills to good use to make a difference.

I’ve come a long way since I’ve started not just in my knowledge but as a person. I never understood what I was letting myself in for when I got on the plane to come here – back when I started it was only accessible by Budapest and then a road transfer. I realised in Budapest that there were languages other than English – and that not everyone spoke English when trying to find my transfer company. It then got better when I was shouted at in the supermarket when I tried to buy ham – seems that I don’t understand here is mistaken for I cannot hear…

However I love Slovakia – and whilst I have just 400 days left here I am reflecting on what a great country it is. I’ve met some of the nicest people I’ve ever known, and seen some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. The culture is amazing – I’ve never been anywhere where I can just walk down main street to find something going on – whether that is drums and folk dancing – or the Christmas market with hot wine in the snow. I’ve been up mountains in the snow – and at times thought I was going die – and then in summer laid by the outdoor swimming pools.

I’ve had opportunities here that I would never have got anywhere else. From anaesthetising a tiger, to working with dolphins, to chasing bulls around hills with a blowpipe. It is not always smooth, and its often crazy organisation – however that is just medicine – it depends on a lot of things and plans often go out the window. I’ve learnt loads, done loads, and seen even more.

So yes I am excited that I only have 400 days left, however I am sad that I only have 400 days left in this beautiful country. Each and every day I will learn a little bit more, both I hope in veterinary and as a person…

Goodbye Gloucester, gone but not forgotten…

Well I have just walked out the door to the train station in Gloucester for the last time, I always knew this day would come however didn’t expect to actually be sad… Usually I am good at just moving on and avoiding letting people get close to me, it seems I failed this time so today as I start my next journey there are some people that I need to mention.

Low This all started with you and the surgical chapters in your Vet Nursing textbook. Thank you.

Gabrielle For giving so much and asking so little, you made me realise just how important the bond between horse and rider is. How horses can enjoy themselves and play too, and why natural/traditional horsemanship is the way forward.

Sarah I am never going forget farm induction with you speed walking to catch up to me and Kelly, and how you’ve stuck around since. I don’t ask for help, however when I needed it I didn’t need to ask as you were just there.

Kara Thank you, you truly are one in a million and totally awesome. Come visit!

Dr Rik Rolfe I’m not sure where to begin… Thank you for pushing me into the Student Movement, its been a lifechanger. When I spoke to 200 freshers at the start of last year I was shaking in fear, yet this April I spoke to thousands of the most influiential UK students on a national stage. Thank you, I know you’ve gone on so good luck with whatever you are up to!

Dr Alan Hill I know you’ve got your fan page already, but now you’re even more famous! Your enthusiasm was just infectious and I am glad to have met you and have you as a lecturer!

Ravneet Well where do I start, Hartpury wouldn’t be Hartpury without you! I know it wasn’t your intention, however I am really grateful that you persauded me to get tested for dyslexia. Just being able to use a computer for my exams has really made a difference!

Jim Thank you! I’m kinda sad I never had you as a lecturer (apart from the Animal Disease Sheep Locomotion Scoring Journals one). Your support with LABS has been invaluable, and definately do keep in touch!

Wendy I know I am a pain, however hopefully I have made your job easier by reminding UWESU that Hartpury does exist too (that rhymes whooop)!

Becki I push you not because I am mean, but because I want to see you achieve more than me as I believe you will. I know you will push your successor just as hard next year, remember its not what you’ve done, its what you’ve left behind thats important!!!

Alex All I’ll say is…. Annie! 😀

Celia Thanks for everything, Diagnostic Techniques was one of my favourite modules! Maybe I’ll see you at BSAVA 2013 if I get there next year 🙂

Tony Thank you. You put the joy back into climbing for me.

Helen I know I was a pain, however your support with LABS this last year has been amazing and it really was appreciated!!!

The “interesting” crew Thank you for so many interesting climbs & scrambles 🙂 Was always happy to arrive home in one piece despite the many moments……

The “activists” crew Thanks for an amazing Conference, great nights out and the solid debate! Come visit!!! 😀

There are of course others, however these are the names right at the front of my brain! Now I need to catch this train, so I will love you and leave you Gloucester!