Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Today I am leaving for my dental mission trip to Chincha, Peru. Chincha is about an hour and a half south of Lima on the coastline of Peru. The trip is composed of two teams ...one teams of clef palate surgeons and the second team of four dentists, of which I am one. We will be getting children ready for the surgery by extracting teeth that need to come out prior to the surgery, as well as caring for several hundred other children and adults in the surrounding community that are in dire need of care. Unfortunately, almost all of the treatment is dental extractiions, due to the extreme levels of decay. However, when someone has had a toothache and infection for several months, it is a real service to them to be able to have that tooth taken out! Right now as I get ready to leave, I am doing the mental checklist of everything that I need to take with me....gloves, masks, headlamps, passport, clothes...etc. Going to a site that we have never been to always poses certain challenges, such as working conditions, eqipment, even if there is any, patient shelter, and so on. It is the cause for a few of those butterflies in the stomach....but somehow, miraculously, everything always seems to work out. Looking forward to several very long, hard days ahead, but every minute is worth it. This is why I became a dentist....to give back!