A day in the life of a PAWS intern

As a paws intern you will be given the opportunity to do many different tasks to help our dedicated vet team. From looking after our post-surgery pups, to holding still some feisty cats (I recommend wearing gloves!) you will be able to experience an array of new things which I can guarantee you’ve never experienced before!

I’ve been an intern here at the Globalteer office in Peru for the past two months. And during my time here my roles have varied. I’ve been working closely with our PAWS team as well as starting up the Chicas Unidas project, in addition to doing other miscellaneous tasks in the office. But my most important job has been helping out on surgery day! I spend my Wednesday accompanying the PAWS team to various small villages in the mountains for busy days where we offer free sterilisations for cats and dogs.

Rottweiler puppy with Krisna, a day in the life of a PAWS intern"
Puppy being held"

Here’s what my usual Wednesday looks like!

7.00am: Wake up and start the day! First of all, I shower and get ready, before coming downstairs and having breakfast. Which is followed by a cup of coffee to start the day right!

8.10am: Walk down to the bus stop which is about 3 minutes from our house. The bus journey takes about 15 minutes along Avenida de la Cultura. I get off at Enaco (the stop where the PAWS team always meets) and walk up a nearby street to be picked up by the PAWS van. 

8.30am: The PAWS driver, Alan, comes to pick me up before heading to one of the villages. The time we meet at Enaco sometimes varies depending on what village we’re going to. For example, when we go to a village further out in the mountains we sometimes meet at 8am. 

(Note: sometimes Peruvian time is a bit different, waiting a few minutes is normal so just go with the flow!)

PAWS van, a day in the life of a PAWS intern"
Qantu and Krisna vaccinating a cat"

9.15am: On most days this is when we arrive at the village. We then start unloading all of the surgery equipment from the van and setting it up in the surgery hall. A good workout to start your morning!

9.30am: Surgery begins! Locals and their furry friends start rolling up at this time and our wonderful vet assistant Krisna begins to prepare them for surgery. I help her to keep the animals calm whilst she does her thing. 

Days vary and sometimes we operate on as many as 11 pets! Other days we have around 6 patients. Every day is different and no matter how many pets we help, we are always kept busy!

Throughout the day, my main duties are sterilising the surgical instruments, helping Krisna prepare the pets and most importantly tending to our patients post-surgery. It doesn’t always seem like a lot but I’m usually busy doing something at all times during the day!

Dogs after surgery"
puppy being prepared for vaccinations, a day in the life of a PAWS intern"

1.00/2.00pm: We often have lunch at a menú restaurant in the village that we work in each week. This consists of soup, a main course and a drink for only 7 soles! I’m vegetarian, but I always manage to find something tasty. Arroz con huevo (classic rice, eggs and salad - sometimes accompanied by fried potatoes) is one of my veggie favourites. 

2.30ish pm: After lunch we head back to the surgery hall to continue with the last few surgeries. Qantu, our head vet , always keeps a positive and calm atomosphere by playing her favourite music, such as Spanish 80’s and salsa! 

5.00pm: We usually finish the day at around 5pm and start cleaning everything and loading it back into the van. Sometimes we finish early, and sometimes we finish a little late, but I would say 6pm is the latest. 

5.30pm: Alan drops us off at the Enaco bus stop and I get a bus back to the volunteer house in El Magisterio. Buses come every few minutes and there are a number of buses you can get. Any bus with Tda. la Cultura written on the side will take you to the stop just outside the house.

Riona intern petting dog, a day in the life of a PAWS intern"
dogs on the roof, a day in the life of a PAWS intern"

5.45pm: Arrive back at the lovely volunteer house where I spend the rest of the evening chilling with the other volunteers and interns. Sometimes we go to the centre and walk around or go to a fair at one of the plazas. But we often sit in the living room and chat!

7.30pm: We usually start cooking dinner around this time, since I’ve been here we’ve cooked together almost every night which really gives the volunteer house a proper home feeling!

9.00pm: Most nights we chill together after dinner and watch a movie. The best way to end a long day!

Volunteers and interns in the centre

This is just a snapshot into what a usual Wednesday looks like for me, but why not come and find out for yourself what it means to be a volunteer or intern here at Globalteer!