Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I'm back!

I got back from Belize late Saturday night. It was a fantastic trip. We got some relaxation time in, and then got to work. After ome major equipment failure the first day (and despite the HEAT!) we helped a ton of people and got a lot of great experience in. There were only four dental students on the trip and two faculty members, so we got a ton of one-on-one coaching that was really invaluable. I probably tripled my speed at doing restorative dentistry, and learned a new method of doing root canals that's much more efficient and updated than what we use at school.

The trip is something that third year students take every year, but it is usually based solely on doing extractions. This year was the first year that we only did restorative dentistry (fillings and root canals). One of the best parts of that was that we were showing all of these very rural populations that pulling teeth isn't the only treatment option out there-- that saving them can be a viable option too. We did a lot of esthetic work for them as well, which is one of my favorite parts of dentistry. I love giving people back their smiles. :) Four hygiene students and two of their faculty members also went with us, so our group did cleanings too. Having them along was great not just because they were really fun people, but because cleanings are a service that is virtually nonexistent in Belize, and it was great to be able to provide that for the people there.

AND it was great for me to make a couple of real friends in my new class. I've felt pretty alone there since I came back, and it's been getting worse lately because my old class is all graduating in a couple of weeks. So it made me really happy to get to know and make friends with the other three dental students who went. Maybe this last year of dental school won't be so lonely after all.

Enough rambling! Picture tiiiime!

The resort that we stayed at the first night and the last night. It was beautiful and we stayed in these huge villas:

We took a catamaran booze cruise to the barrier reef to go snorkeling. This is the island we stopped at by the reef:

Our equipment table and some of our crew. Our working conditions were a little bit different than we were used to! This is at a primary school where we worked for two days:

We had no shortage of patients!

Me with some of our patients at the school:

Doing some cosmetic dentistry:

Kelly and I jumped into the resort pool in our scrubs after our last, very sweaty day of work :) I don't know that the other vacationers appreciated it, though.

So that's it! It was the trip of a lifetime for sure. I'm so glad I went, even though I missed Caroline more than I thought possible! A week sure is a long time to be away from her... we've done an awful lot of snuggling since my return.

1 comment:

Bobbi Janay @When did I go from a kid to a grown up? said...

I am glad that you enjoyed your trip and learned a lot.