1000 Smiles Project September 2013

So I haven’t posted in 2 years!  Not sure why I stopped and then I kind of just forgot about having this blog!  Life has had some ups and downs and some life changing events the past 2 years…..maybe that’s why!  Anyways……I’m going to try to post more often.  Not that I was ever into the whole blogging thing, I just wanted a place to share my photography.  I’m going to start with sharing some pictures from a trip I took last fall.  These were taken with a point and shoot and/or cell phone.

In September, myself and 4 of my coworkers had the opportunity to volunteer for the 1000 Smiles Project in Whitehouse, Jamaica.  Our team consisted of two dental assistants, one dentist, one hygienist and one scheduling coordinator.

1000 Smiles is the world’s largest international humanitarian dental project.  (Learn more about it here http://www.gsjamaica.org/)

We provided cleanings, extractions, fillings and sealants.  More extractions than anything!  After the 1st day I didn’t want to go back.  We worked in a community center that was converted to a make shift clinic.  It was so hot and humid and definitely not the working conditions I’m use to.  But I got over myself and realized it was not about me!  It was about the Jamaican people that have no access to dental care.  In rural Jamaica, there is only one dentist for every 100,000 people.  We had one whole day for just children.  It was our busiest and most rewarding day!  The children were all well behaved and so thankful we could help them.

We stayed at the Sandals Resort in Whitehouse and it was amazing!  After working in such crazy conditions all day it was so nice to be able to put on our bathing suits and head to the pool (with a swim up bar) and cool off!

The Sandals Foundation (http://www.sandalsfoundation.org/) is partnered with Great Shape, Inc.

It was an experience I will never forget and I met some amazing people!  I do hope to go back one day!

The ride to the resort was a crazy two hour ride!  (Reminded me of IRT Deadliest Roads!!!)  I got to sit up front with the driver!


The view from our room!


The beach was gorgeous!  The resort is a couples only resort but it wasn’t busy at all since it was hurricane season!  We were there 7 days and only had one day that it rained for a couple of hours.


Our team and the other volunteers on the way to set up our clinic.


The Clinic


The view from the clinic.


All set up and ready to go for the morning!




This little boy hung out with us while we were setting up.  We gave him some bubbles for being good!


Our 1st day.





Dr. Landry and me!


This is Rachel from the Ministry of Health.  She was with us everyday and was a big help to Ann (our scheduling coordinator) registering patients and getting BPs.


Ann and Hannah.  Hannah was a dental hygiene student from Oregon Institute of Technology.


We took some time one day during lunch to walk down to the pier in front of the clinic.  Granville was our “Clinic Keeper” and wanted to show us his boat.  He is very well respected in his community and was a huge help to the clinic.


There were goats everywhere we went!


This is our “Clinic Keeper” Granville



Our dentist Dr. Landry transformed this patient’s smile!




Kids Day!





This is Ms. Gladys.  She was there every day to keep people in line!  And trust me…..they listened! 


Our dental assistant Keri with returning volunteer dentist, Milena.


Our hygienist June with Granville.


On our last day community members thanked us with Jamaican Patties, Coco Bread and bottled Red Stripe!  They were very appreciative of the care we provided.  They also said they hadn’t seen the clinic run so smoothly in years!


This was beautiful to see getting off the bus after a long week!


The coffee was delicious in Jamaica!


One of the restaurants had Korean food!  I love Korean food!  I think I ate there 3 times!


Everyday there was a meeting or something so we never had a full day to enjoy the beach.  But we did get to ride on a glass bottom boat and go snorkeling.



On the last night there was a slide show from the week and all of the volunteers were presented certificates.



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