As a small animal veterinarian, I was not sure what role I would play in Tanzania. In a country where the majority of the animals are either in wildlife or agriculture, my hope was that I could find some small way in which to make a difference, even if it was by helping my human counterparts to do their job. What I found was all of that, and even much more. Even though I knew next to no one on the trip, I was welcomed with open arms – literally, in some cases! The amount of need in the cities we visited was overwhelming, and to watch these medical professionals band together to provide compassionate support made tears form in my eyes. In addition to that, what amazed me was the welcome that we received from the Tanzanian community. Our African veterinary counterparts brought us into their fold, speaking frankly about their problems and collaborating together with us to form a united plan for their animals, both companion and agricultural. I considered myself fortunate to be a part of The Phil Simon Project even before I left for Tanzania; now, I’m honored to be able to expand our sphere of influence for 2018.

Diane Tang, DVM