Saturday, September 13, 2014

Jamaica- a dental mission trip

So I think I mentioned this before, but the week before Hawaii Casey had an opportunity to go down to Jamaica with a bunch of other students in his dental class through the Christian Dental Society to do free dental work on the people down there. From my non-dental view of the stories from Casey and his classmates, everyone enjoyed it so very much. Being able to do TONS of dental work in one day on people who were so very desperate for any work to be done gave them all a wonderful feeling. When you're in the service of others you're in the service f your God. I loved that it made Casey more confident as a student dentist going into his 3rd year, I think it's given him a huge advantage and improved his attitude. I'm so happy he had this experience! So now onto his blog post: (it's been a long time since he's blogged on here!)

I had to leave at midnight and get no sleep to arrive in Jamaica at noon, which was when all of us were supposed to arrive, but I ended up sitting around until like 4 o'clock and then we finally left for our lodging, which was 3 hours away. Lon met me in Michigan at our layover and we took the same flight to Jamaica.
This restaurant is called the Pork pit. It was actually very yummy and legit. I was always hesitant about getting sick until about 4 days in and I just figured whatever they were feeding us was ok for my belly. I made out ok.
We had a scenic outlook right from our balcony. It overlooked the ocean. We ended up staying in the treehouse as it was called so 5 of us guys shared a 2 bedroom home that had all the amenities that we needed to live and smell ok. It was quite beautiful. This beach was what we had to walk through everyday to get to the main house that we had morning devotionals in and ate all our meals when we were around. There were ravenous dogs that would attack and bark if you walked during the day unless you run crazy at them, which one of my friends tried out first hand. One of the girls got scratched and jumped on one morning. Sometimes I think wild dogs should just be shunned somewhere or maybe domesticated.
Another few pictures of our balcony and a little hammock area outside our house.
So many different fruits were in plentiful form, I loved their bananas so much better than ours in America, they have a mango taste to them it is amazing. I tried a lot of different types of fruit I hadn't tried before and trying to remember their names is killing me.
We got to spend a few days just relaxing one in the beginning and one at the end, We went to a secluded waterfall and just swimming area with ziplining through the jungle and over the falls. I bought Max a little souvenir of Jamaica.
 This is our little clinic in a backroom of a church, where for 4 days we did dental work from a time frame on average from 10:30 to at least 8 o'clock at night. I was exhausted by the end of each day as you can tell from the next photo set down. I ended up somehow dressing in the same clothes as Lon unlplanned.
This was our instrument table, wouldn't you be intimidated if you had to walk in and this is the first thing that you saw. These people were just so grateful that we were doing their dental work and literally I don' t think I heard one person complain about getting a shot and very rarely would someone complain about anything. Noone had a gag reflex, they are just a very humble people at least where we were at.
Me doing some work with my friend Katie and Lon, It was so nice to have people you know accompany you with the dental care. I enjoyed gaining more friendship experiences. We helped people feel a lot better about themselves because they would come in with black spots in their teeth and leave with white ones haha. The calculus in Jamaica was unprecedented, I called it like pulling off the layers of an onion, it would just fall off like a mountain. Kinda Gross
I ended up doing a lot of operative, which I kinda chose to do because I wanted to feel comfortable coming back to the states and being able to do bread and butter dentistry ( Drilling and Filling). I came back very comfortable giving injections, getting rid of cavities and pretty comfortable with extracting teeth. These are a few of the people I worked with. It was funny it would rain and everytime it did we would lose power and it would come back on in like 10 seconds. So lucky we had our lights so we could see or we wouldn't have been able to function.
Loved seeing kids getting help they needed. We just needed to educate them on what to do. A lot of people had never seen floss before. Pastor Roe is in the upper right picture. She would lead a singing devotional every morning before we started working on patients. So I would get a double dose of spiritual experiences every day. 
So I was told by a friend that I didn't need to bring any scrub tops, but that was a poor choice to follow haha. I ended up just using whatever Jessica (our lead Dentist) gave me. She let me wear her favorite Kitty cat scrub top that I got many weird looks from people while wearing it. We even had cool t-shirts to wear that I actually really like.
This was the biggest man I had seen in Jamaica, he couldn't speak English very well at all, but we pulled out a few of his teeth and he was happy. This is the wall of fame. Every school that comes has a space that they choose and they leave their hand print of memory from the trip that will last until the place is not used anymore. I had a great experience, I was happy to come back to the U.S though after my week was done. I missed just being able to drink water and not worry if I would be sick or not. I had a great time! It was well worth the money to bless others lives, but seeing the improvements in myself. Thanks Jamaica it was great!


Cherri said...

Great to hear and see more of what your experience really was..... SUPER!

Cody and Camille said...

Very cool, Casey!