The Ark's Cargo
For the Love of Animals
Perfect Bound Softcover
This memoir describes the challenges a young man faces in achieving his dream of becoming a veterinarian. Even a period of homelessness and limited resources do not interfere with his commitment to achieve success. And this is only the beginning! Soon he is faced with the challenges of working in the jungles of Panama, facing the ravages of a roaming black jaguar and the defenses of a native village against the entrance of man or beast. Then, how about Haiti, where the Tonton Macoute militias believe in instant justice, rarely valuing life, or Columbia, where the drug lords have absolute rule. As if that isn’t enough, consider working in the African continent, along the tales surrounding the first shipment of Charolais cattle to the United States or the many facets of working with the wild mustangs in Colorado. Each exciting adventure is told with suspense, drama, and humor! Enjoy!
Soon we were off and paddling with all of our might. After about an hour and one-half of paddling deep into the jungle we ported our boats/canoes and followed a well established path into the interior. The canopy of trees was massive, the undergrowth was dense, the sound of life was abundant and the colors, textures, and fragrant smells given off by the various plant species were overwhelming to the senses. This is truly one of America’s richest wildernesses and yet if we are not careful, it could be destroyed. One could tell this path had been used for many generations in that it had been worn deep into the ground. The visual, the sounds and the smells were ever so refreshing and yet stimulating at the same time. It was far better than any ride at Disney World and yes, this was for real! Having been given the honor of leading the pack, I was soon introduced to another experience I will cherish for all time. For at that instance a Jungle Native scared the “begebees” out of me. He jumped out of the thick jungle brush on to the path, a few yards out in front me. He was jumping up and down whooping and hollering with all his might. He was wearing a dark colored loin cloth. His arms, legs and face were painted black with designs some might describe as that of a warrior, a well trained warrior intent on doing some serious harm. You see, he carried a big shield in his left hand and was jabbing with his right arm, in a flexed position, a pointed spear with an obviously freshly sharpened point; directed for my heart. For all I knew, he was probably highly skilled as a hunter and better prepared than any boy scout, having freshly applied a lethal prepared paste to assure the spears point would accomplish its intended purpose! Was I scared? You bet I was! I was panic stricken! I knew he was not a happy man and he did not like my presence in this part of the world and especially my presence on land controlled by his tribe and his tribe only. His countenance and the look in his eye said it all. That stern, controlled stare daring me to take another step forward, was clear and forthright! No doubt about it! It was obvious he was committed to do whatever he had to do. That glare of intent said it all! From his perspective, unannounced strangers were not welcome and especially those whose attentions might be harmful to him and those he loved. You see, our visit had not been announced and as such was not well received! As you may already realize, there are no phones or other means of communication to advise such tribal villages of an upcoming visit or for that matter the purpose of such a visit as ours. Furthermore, there was no way to call home to say good-by to my wife and family, life has been good, I love you, and oh by the way I am about to be speared by an angry man and yes you won’t see or hear from me again, my life is over, no time to explain! Punto! Oh, yes, all I could envision was a Big Black Pot of Boiling Water at the end of the path waiting for this agile (Young Buck) hunter’s catch of the day. Who knows if they were cannibals or not? In my scheme of things to come, my life was over and if they could make a good soup out of their catch, so be it! Well, for some reason my colleagues were screaming in Spanish for him to stop as they tried to explain the purpose of our visit! Was I ever relieved when I found out he knew Spanish or at least knew enough to understand what we were saying! Fortunately, his village had been visited by missionaries who had taught him and several others in his tribe the Spanish language. I will never forget the relief on the Native’s face as he dropped his shield and spear; wiping the sweat from his brow while looking me directly in the eye; and saying, “Wow, I bet I was more scared than you were”! Oh, Boy! You know it! I didn’t hesitate in the least and said with greater fervor and emotion, “No sir, I know I was far more scared than you were or would ever be!” Just think of it. This young man had to have a lot of courage to face six of us on his own. As we were to later learn, he was the only male left in the village to protect all of the women and children. All of the rest of the men were out in the jungle hunting for food etc. to bring back to their families. Little did they expect outsiders paying them a visit and when this young man detected us coming their way for who knows what reason, he was willing to step up to the plate no matter how dangerous the situation. He faced his fears head on to protect the future of his village and those he loved. How many of us would have that kind of courage? Indeed I was impressed!
Inspired by biblical passages and teachings, the author cherished his work as an international veterinarian. His passion for improving the health and welfare of domesticated and wild animals is most noteworthy. Working within diverse cultures, he observed vast health improvements in animals and, as a result, in people living nearby.
"Sometimes I feel that fighting disease (whether human or animal disease or infectious to both) is like being in a war zone!"
Clearly William Buisch's grandmother's dramatic retelling of Bible stories, emphasizing the love of God and the beauty of all living things that he created, proved a major influence on her grandson's future profession. With Noah's Ark being a particular story favorite, it seemed natural that Buisch would go on to study Veterinary Medicine. Yet, while most animal doctors set up a practice close to home, content with caring for the likes of cats, dogs, or other household pets, Buisch sought far greater challenges. Initiating his career with the USDA, he ultimately traveled the globe as an International Veterinarian, in pursuit of handling animal disease control and eradication.
Whether working as part of an Energy Task Force to eliminate Hog Cholera in North Carolina, investigating the transport of inferior cattle from the US to Korea, helping to eradicate and sterilize the menacing screw fly, or meeting with natives in the jungles of Panama, gaining valuable plant knowledge, Buisch's writing adventures exude his career passion. Beyond atraditional memoir, The Ark's Cargo blends professional scientific components and the personal reflective aspect of the author's life's work. Adding to the design of his storytelling, the book serves as a travelogue of sorts as Buisch vividly describes the landscape, people, and culture of the various places he visited while on assignment. Though portions of this work may seem overloaded with scientific jargon, the author jokingly admonishes the idea that persons in the medical field love to use their own vocabulary in a superior gesture to claim knowledge over what the public knows. Thankfully for readers, Buisch offers simple translations for such terminology.
The author is quick to point out that the programs of eradicating disease work because of the numerous individuals who share a common "passion for improving animal health and the health and welfare of mankind." While these endeavors can be expensive, Buisch emphasizes that disease eradication is a one-time fee, but the cost of disease control can go on indefinitely. It is a point well taken. There is much to be learned about the health of our world, especially from the insightful writings of an individual who has viewed it from the trenches.
-The US Review Of Books
Perfect Bound Softcover
Dust Jacket Hardcover