Today I was assigned to shadow one of the dentists in the morning and then to work in the pharmacy in the afternoon. To be honest, this morning I had come into the clinic slightly afraid of mouth blood, but after today, I had grown out of my fear. While shadowing the doctor, I did not only get to seeing teeth cleaning, but I also got to see several teeth extractions on men, women, and children of all ages. It is honestly flabbergasting to see the conditions in which the people here live with and how the lack of medical attention has let to such great extremes. And although I was not able to establish any personal connections with the patients, I hope that our presence did impact them in some way.
Tonight was also our last reflections. As all of us gathered near the pool one last time to go over logistics and share stories, I could not believe that our trip was already coming to an end. But looking back, I think it is incredible to see how much we had all come and changed as individuals and how we actually did make a difference. Earlier in the day I was worried about whether or not I was actually making a difference in the medical portion of the brigade, but after hearing about the number of people that we had served and the stories of my peers, I realized that I did not have that much to worry about. Together as a team, we made a large scale difference by providing people who would otherwise not get medical attention with the doctors and medication that they needed. Although the difference we made at the clinic was very different than how we impacted people in La Naranja, all of our efforts were worth it.