Guatemala 2018 Reflection
CRANBERRY X GLOBAL DENTAL RELIEF
Guatemala 2018 Reflection
I went on the trip to Guatemala at the beginning of June. Going into this trip I didn’t really know what to expect at all. I had never been out of the country or done mission work similar to this. I was very impressed with this entire trip. It was very organized and run smoothly. I felt like the trip leaders did a good job of informing us and preparing us for everything we needed to know and do. I couldn’t really imagine what the clinic was going to be like, but I was surprised when I got there and saw how everything was set up. I was shocked at all the supplies and equipment that we had and didn’t realize that we would pretty much be doing and dealing with anything and everything that we could and had the materials for. I know that throughout the entire trip I heard several times about how important Cranberry donations are and that the clinic truly wouldn’t be able to run without them. Overall, the trip as a whole exceeded my expectations.
I learned an immense amount just in the five days we were actually in clinic doing dental work. Being able to work alongside a dentist for five days was nothing short of amazing. I got to see so many things from mouth to mouth and do a lot of hands on work, which was such an amazing opportunity because I got to experience things I could potentially be doing in my future. The dentists I worked with were outstanding at taking the time to explain things and teach me as we did the work. This was probably one of my favorite things about the clinic experience simply because I got to learn the most from them. I learned how appreciative the Guatemalans are of our work there and how I shouldn’t take my easy access to dental care for granted. The sweet faces and smiles of the children made my day and I always felt a sense of peace at the end of each day knowing that we were helping so many children and their smiles.
For as long as I can remember, I have had the desire to travel and help others around the world by doing so and as I was researching online trying to find a mission dental mission trip I found that Global Dental Relief offers exactly this. I had been searching for an opportunity like this for quite some time and once I found GDR I fell in love with their mission and was truly inspired after reading what others said about trips through GDR and I had a strong desire to experience the same thing. I knew this trip would allow me to gain experience in the field of dentistry in a hands-on way, while also fulfilling my dream of seeing the world and others in a new perspective. I hoped that this opportunity would allow me to do what my heart desires most and serve others, while becoming even more passionate about my future career in dentistry and I would say it definitely fulfilled that hope of mine.
Going to Guatemala and being surrounded by people who love dentistry truly made my passion for dentistry even greater and provided me with the certainty that I want to pursue a career in dentistry. This year I will be applying to several dental hygiene programs so this trip set me a step ahead and exposed me to so much in the dental field. This unique experience will also set me apart from other applicants when applying to dental hygiene programs. I believe this is a once in a lifetime experience and I am beyond thankful that I had to the opportunity to go, thanks to Cranberry. I hope to return in the near future!
By Abby Eskina, June 2018