Friday, 23 March 2012

My pre-author life

 What did I do before I become an author?

Besides trying to become an author and dealing with all of the difficulties encountered in that industry, these are some of my experiences.

I participated in five separate dental missions to Central America for one week intervals. We treated the very poor, the ones who had no access to health or dental care. On these dental missions, I was trained to give local anesthetic and do extractions.

These pictures aren't that great because they were taken before I had a digital camera, so I've taken a picutre of  my picture.

Four of the dental missions were in Honduras, We lived in jungle villages and worked in the schools or churches, and often worked outside.

Dentistry performed with no modern equipment. Honduras, 1997
Jungle dentistry in a remote mountain area of Honduras, 1997
Outside dentistry in Guatemala, 1999
Guatemalan lady, 1999

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One mission was in Guatemala. On that mission we stayed with a local family and a bus picked us up every moring to go to different villages to work.

I had just taken out a tooth on this little girl. Honduras, 1998

Me with my friend, Miriam, In El Parasio, Honduras 1998

                                  
A typical farmer selling his wares in Honduras
 
 Me with a Guatemalan lady and her daughter at our outdoor clinic. Guatemala ,1999 
One of my most poignant memories of these missions is the time we worked in a Honduras jail. The conditions were appalling, with 6 people to a 12 x 8 cell and no bathroom besides a pot in the corner. But even more heart wrenching was the women's quarters. The women that had no one to take care of their children, had their children with them in jail. A lot of women were in jail for charges of theft, but months and even years later they had't been in front of a judge yet. There was no schooling for the children in jail.

We treated many women and children in the jail. I was glad that I brought a few chocolate bars to give out to the children. After we had finished working in the jail that day, then it was time to cry.

I think these missions helped build my character and was a milestone in shaping who I've become. I understand how we really are all brothers and sisters in this world. Although I don't travel to do  missionary work anymore, I am actively involved with a group that does missionary work in northern India.