Today was the most influential day of my life. I spent the first part of my day teaching a program to 9-11 years old on having a healthy heart and teaching them about Louisville and about the University of Louisville. To go into these classrooms and see just how similar they are to the school system we have in America, is amazing. They have the same informational banners on the wall, they have morning assembly before school, and they have individual classroom responsibilities that the children are in charge of. The students also have an incredible passion for learning and enjoy the time we spend with them so much. To know that even though I only spent about an hour and half with them in the classroom I have left some impression on them that will hopefully last. Later in the day I went into the dental clinic to serve as an assistant, wash dental tools, and basically due whatever was needed to be done. It was a real eye opener to see these dentists and work and to see the villagers almost come to tears with how truly grateful they are for the services we are providing them with. These dentist come in and pull teeth and relieve them of incredible pain, and for some patients even make them flippers (a false tooth on a removable denture). These villagers live in an environment unheard of in your average city and for them to have the awful pain of tooth decay removed and then a replacement tooth put in place is such a blessing for them. After my work in the dental school I was able to go outside in the field and play with the children of the village. We played games such as Duck Duck Goose, Simon Says, and Tag. It was amazing to see how many of their games are the exact same as ours. Of course there were also games that I had no idea what they were and it was great to learn their games and play them with them. Of course the children also just love having their pictures taken on a digital camera and to be able to then see themselves on the screen is such a treat for them.
I have appreciated my time here in Belize so much and will not take my time here or the blessings I have back at home for granted. I am very thankful to the University and the people of Belize for allowing me this opportunity to make an impact in their lives and have them impact my life in such and amazing way!
-Karen Elaine Clough