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Guatemala dental mission

- Kayla Grunstein

Kayla

Recently I went to Guatemala with my dad and younger sister. We didn’t just go for a vacation although I had did have a lot of fun. We went to volunteer giving free dentistry to children in an orphanage in a small town outside of Guatemala City. To get to the orphanage from the airport, we had three hours of bouncy, twisty, nauseating, and extremely difficult driving. When we finally reached the orphanage, 30 kids started running up to the car because they were happy to see us. I have never seen kids so happy to see a dentist! If kids were happy to see dentist in the U.S things would be a lot different. In addition to the kids loving the dentist, they seem to love waiting on lines! Each kid silently waited their turn in a huge line that must have been about two hours long. When each new child came in to see my father, I noticed how bad the kid’s teeth were. In America parents get mad when their child has even one cavity. In Guatemala even parents have dozens of cavities. IMG_6689
IMG_6734Considering you could be six and they would let you do dental work for them, I was able to help my dad fix cavities and when kids were scared, I calmed the them down. I think it was easy for the kids to calm down when someone younger is telling them it will be okay. Because my dad only needed one assistant at a time, either my sister or I assisted him as the other painted one of the walls of the orphanage. There were two walls we needed to paint. On the first wall we painted an outdoor setting with a tree, flowers, a sun and butterflies. On the other wall we had a rainbow and bunch of the children put their handprints on the wall in different colors. It turned out really nice

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After my trip I have so much more appreciation for what I have. I really think more parents should take their children to third world countries especially when here in America,we have so much.  IMG_6758

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