So we depart Seattle, WA tomorrow via motor cycle. I’m finishing up all my last minutes stuff today. Turning in my apartment keys, my change of address, stopping in at work possibly and trying to catch those last minutes with some of my friends that I or they procrastinated on. It’s hard to take it all in. The stress if moving alone is over whelming, and yet so exciting for this adventure many would call once in a life time. Yet isn’t everything once in a life time? We only have the moment of right now. And this morning Matt and I joined one of our good friends for breakfast and laughed just about the whole time while our server was a good old friend from Portland. I couldn’t I asked for a morning just enjoying our scrumptious breakfast!
So there was one week until our trip but that was yesterday, I’m packing up hopefully the rest of my personal belongings today and moving the rest of the big stuff. That includes my bed and kitchen table, I always seem to forget about the fact that I have another in my 1971 Vw bus! I’ll be staying in that for this week. I’m finding my self questioning the trip, the lack of plans other than south and I have been thinking: what in the heck am I doing. From some perspectives it seems utterly crazy and from my perspective it just seems so reasonable, and so needed. The daily grind has taken a toll on me. My mind feels like it an endless circle of work and entertainment. My life needs to be fun and exciting to help avoid the void I feel from working a job where my brain is no longer learning and the high stresses at work is wearing as well. So I think that this trip and restart on so many levels is the right choice.
Hello, friends and family, you can follow me here for the next couple months as I (and Matt) get on a motorcycle and drive to Chile, Argentina or one of those countries in South America!
Fried chicken, tooth rot, and body oder would describe my day so accurately. Thank God for that person some where in Haiti cooking that fried chicken towards the end of my shift, it not only made me excited for the end of the day but it covered the horrid smell of tooth and body oder I had been inhaling all day long. My patients had been getting more difficult and luckily I am getting faster at cleaning their teeth!! I tried to think of funny catchy starting lines to make this entry far more funny than it may seem. But I could not retain the ones I thought of and in reality it is hard laborious work here in less than ideal conditions.
I do love the chaos of Haiti it is fun, and there are big parts of me that wish to know a foreign land this well that I am not seen as a white person on and mission trip studying or traveling but I am seen as an equal to people of a far off place where people are poor and they know one another and help one another to sustain life and to really live.
To day we drove north out to a beach! Many of the reasonable beaches are pay to be there, but you can’t bring your own food and must buy food from them if you want to eat or drink while on the beach, and get what ever food Bourne illness they serve up as well. I got a cheese burger, given I don’t like cheese burgers normally unless it a Seattle Dicks burger. I figure safe than sorry. I’ll see tomorrow about how it really was. I have been starting to get a bit ill in the norther regions so I have been chasing the water all night. It is better during leisurely activities than enroute or furring work and the bathrooms where nice. Out side of the bugs, lack of actual clean water and heat, it just another thing to prep me for Matt and I’s South America trip. Face timing was nice as well since the hotel beach area provided wifi! I forget how redaly advaible Matt is to me with texting, email, face time, and phone calls. There are things I take for granted like checking on a significant others well being, and the instant ness of the world we all live in. I always think why do we need these break days and am soon reminded when that third day of exhaustive heat and work is in process. Because we work like mad for several hour with difficult cases and sudden heat. Many of the people we see old and young have never seen a dentist in their whole life.
Yes after three full days of dental hygiene I’m am tired of teeth work and smelly stuff. The teeth are not the only thing that smell sometimes I’ll get a big whif of sweat smell I’m thinking it’s me. I cleaned the teeth of a 9 year old who had never brushed her teeth ever. It was bad. I talked with her father and said she needs to brush or there is a high probability she will loose her teeth. If she loses her teeth she may end up not married, this is very serious, it is much harder to be independent in a poor country, than in the United States.
Oh geez I tried to sleep in the hammock last night made it an astounding four hours only to look at my clock and see I wasn’t even close to half way. The drums were drumming and the crickets just buzzing away I went inside the second half of the night! Thank goodness because work took it out I me today, my period really drains me and it did just that today!
I was hessant to do the hygern work ahead of me, would I know what todo, would I hurt some one and what does it feel like. Once I received a small veg demo I was rolling I felt good chipping away at each tooth in each persons mouth I saw. It was described to me as cleaning the mot from a castle. I was saving teeth from decay, hoping to improve the life span that little tip touch, when black stuff chipped out, I knew I was doing something right. Not only saving teeth but making the over all health of a person better I they knew it or not. A close representation of Haiti in every mouth we are just people chipping away at decay trying to make this place better.
First day in country in Haiti, seems like I was just home and I don’t feel like I have spent the last day and a half traveling to get here. Sharon a wise woman on our team have me the down low on what I’ll be doing tomorrow, cleaning teeth of teenagers hoping they don’t have too much plaquic build up which they will and we will only be able to get so much and have to just do what we can in in 30 mins. Thats how it goes in Haiti a decimated info structure and has been years in the remaking and rebuilding from when the slaves over threw the enslavers and also destroyed what they where building. The governments corrupt far more than ours is and really need a leader that will help and not hinder.
So we are here hoping to help, not just cleaning and repairing teeth but showing people hope and love.