“One day at the office as I was working on her mom, Erica, a Spanish major and I conversed in Español. I suggested she could really practice her language skills by coming with me on a mission trip. I recently was invited by missionaries, with whom I had worked in Honduras, to visit them in Chile, their new field of service. I trained Erica to be my dental assistant and we were off!
After a long, overnight flight, we arrived in Osorno, Chile. We spent the first three days working at an orphanage for girls. Unfortunately, many of these sweet little girls are unadoptable because of the laws of the country, so they spend most of their lives here. The orphanage is run by an American missionary family. I brought mobile dental equipment and my missionary friends fashioned a reclining lounge chair into a “dental” chair, which worked great!
We worked a few days at the church where the missionaries serve, treating many of the blind people who meet at their church regularly, and also some of the poor parishioners. We ate a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with our missionary friends and their family. The next day we worked at a school offering dentistry to the at-risk teens and youth. I was excited to work with an older, local dentist. He practiced standing up! AND he would only do one extraction per person. But he agreed to follow up on these young people and continue to treat them at his office. What a blessing!
Our last day was spent in the mountains, hiking by streams and taking in the magnificent scenery. As we stayed with some local families, we did get to practice our Spanish, but we also made good friends. We miss them!”