We just got off the bus from our first day in Samana. It was a wonderful day and we accomplished so much. We went to a village called Rancho Espanol. The group before us in March came to this community and there were more people that were needed to be seen so we came back. After today we are still going to have to come back a third time during our November trip. We saw a total of 132 patients; 100 saw the Hygienists and the Doctors while the extra 32 only saw the hygienists. The teeth were the same as Saturday with a lot of fillings and not as many extractions which resulted in longer time in the Dental Chair. Everyone worked so hard and we had one big room with everyone in it so we were all together. It felt much more efficient and we were all much more on the same page. Set up and clean up went so quickly and everyone plays their parts whether it is washing down tables, or emptying garbages, or cleaning instruments. The translators that came from Burlington High have been so helpful and have jumped right into whats going on. It is so impressive to see that since they have had no dental experience. They are assistants to Doctors and Hygienists and help translate and calm the children. Today Amada who came with Dr. Gurevich lost her camera in the long drop (the name we call the toilet). Poor thing just laughed and said of course something like that would happen to her. We have all been laughing about it. What a good sport. We love Amada.
The only bummer about today was that we had to turn people away that had been sitting in the heat since 7:00 this morning. Some of them were crying and it was heart breaking. We just couldn´t see anymore. There is only so much you can do in one day. It gave us all peace that there will be another Smiles for Hope group in November to finish up.
Time to go eat dinner. As I am typing I can hear the front desk dealing with an issue of no water in any of the rooms for us. Wish us luck........ :)
* As a side note. There is only one computer here at the hotel and the pictures I am uploading take 20 minutes for every 5 pictures. I had about ten more I wanted to post but the computer is not uploading them anymore. I will try more tomorrow.