My first work day experience in Red Bank, Belize was with the Dental Team. The day began with Dr. David Jones and Dr. Tom Clark orchestrating a fast and exceptionally well organized setup that was accomplished with the direction of these two knowledgeable and experienced professionals along with their dental team. The residents of Red Bank lined up quickly and the team assessed their needs and prepared them for treatment. It was immediately apparent that these people were desperately in need of immediate attention. I assisted the dental students in filling out the intake assessment and listing the work to be performed in order of priority. I was impressed by the smiling faces that filed to team, knowing that many were in pain, but happy that this service had at last come to their village.
Inside the clinic, Dr. Clark’s self designed “octopus” performed with an efficiency that rivaled any modern dental facility back home. The students, each with previously planned tasks, catered to these grateful people, and amazingly, even though many had never been to a dentist before, eased their fears and were made all as comfortable as anyone can be in a dental chair. The students and I finished a long and arduous morning with a sense of gratitude and self fulfillment, knowing that we were able to serve an equally grateful community. After my time had ended, I could see that the morning was a success by the look of gratitude on the faces of the villagers of Red Bank.
The afternoon was no less rewarding as we traveled to Independence to conduct a Bullying workshop with the teachers of the village school. The afternoon started slowly at first. As the Justice Administration students conducted the presentation the teachers willfully acknowledged that bullying was indeed a problem in the schools. They were definitely appreciative of the information shared and opened up, eventually sharing their feelings and thoughts on how to approach and deal with the problem of bullying in the schools. It was when the Art Therapy Team took charge that the discussion got more lively and interesting. At the end of the day, we left knowing that we had shared and connected a people that maybe we had assumed were quite different, but in reality were the same.