When asked about my most significant experience, I instantly know what experience has shaped my life the most. My church takes an annual trip to Guatemala City; my sister and mother attended the year before and pushed me to attend the next year. Medical clinics are set-up based on the recommendation of a church missionary who resides in Guatemala City. After reading the prompt, I was instantly swept back to that amazing, life changing experience that took place in a beautiful foreign land.
Day 1: Settling in, winding down, preparing for tomorrow.
Day 2: We load onto our bus and travel about an hour to set-up the clinic located in a church/school. The people are so excited to see us. They greet us with hugs and smiles; it brings tears to my eyes. All the students here wear uniforms but that doesn’t get them down. I would die if I had to wear the same outfit day after day; my clothes are just one way to express myself. Even though I have taken one year of Spanish, I still can’t understand what they are saying to me. However, using a friendly smile to bridge the language barrier, all of the children come flocking. Working as a dental assistant, oh my, I realize I have it way too good! I have all my teeth—straight and white. Their smiles are missing teeth, and we will be pulling more. They have a mouthful of cavities from years of not brushing. I can’t do much for them, so I comfort the little kids when they are finished with the dentist.
Day 3: The second clinic is in a valley. Imagine this… a major highway overpass that towers over two hillsides that converge upon a small river. The houses on these hillsides are made of sheets of metal on dirt flooring and are nearly stacked on top of one another. They have no running water; households share community bathrooms. We are working in a one-room schoolhouse with one door and bars (in place of glass) for windows. When I walked into the clinic today, sitting in the middle of the room is a...
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