It has happened again. I went to Haiti with the Dental Care for Children group over Labor Day for another mission trip. After we left, another hurricane passed through. Last year, weeks after we left it was Matthew and he did damage to Les Cayes. This year, days after we departed, Irma passed by but was kinder to that city than Matthew was last year when it took the brunt of the storm.
Every trip is different, I’m learning. This time we only had 15 people as opposed to more last year. We often had issues with equipment as it seems everyone’s chair was down at some point (mine was on Sunday morning/afternoon) yet we still set a record for number of patients treated! I returned with Dr. Grace Lee of Grace Dental here in town as well as a hygienist from Dr. Harper’s office, Deloris Jackson. Both these women are amazing. They’ve been more involved than I and Mrs. Jackson has even been to other nations on other continents as well doing this type of work, establishing her own clinics there. WOW!
It is hard to work in the heat with equipment that doesn’t do what you want, with donated bits and whatnot. But, the gratitude of the people who recognize such a commodity is amazing! They don’t have much, but are always thankful to God for the blessings he sends whether it is food, clothes, or medical/dental care. It is quite humbling to witness. By the way, I do not recommend getting ill in tropical heat. That’s quite the way to get dehydrated!
I’m grateful I got to work again with Guzman, my translator/dental assistant. He seems to be doing well and I got to meet some of his family this time too! He and others were a big reason why we got going sooner as they set up a great majority of things before we got there.