Thursday, February 16, 2012

Haiti - The Orphanage

On our third day seeing patients, we headed to a girls' orphanage in the country. This was definitely my favorite day. It was gated and there were about five buildings on the compound. When we got out of the jeep, a group of girls started singing to us. They sang two songs; it was a beautiful experience.

The Girls Singing

We set up the clinic in their school room. We saw girls ranging from 4 to 14 years old. We saw about 50 girls in all. The most amazing thing was that these girls all had perfectly straight teeth and no caries (cavities) at all. The extractions that I did were only for baby teeth that needed to come out, because they were retained and causing periodontal (gum) issues. The children are not allowed to drink soda and or eat other refined sugars, which definitely has led to the low prevalence of caries.

 Anna Treating a Patient

Derrick and I were going to take a quick picture with this group of girls...
... but then more girls came by us...
 ... until there were even more!

The head of the orphanage was a lady who went to school to study agriculture. She has taught the girls how to plant and harvest various crops. She took us on a tour of the grounds and we learned about all of the farming that they do. The orphanage is on 3 acres of land. They grow plantain trees and banana trees, have 3 tilapia ponds, bees, and grow their own sugar cane. We got to taste some of the honey while we were there, it was delicious. Since we had done our dental work for the day, we had some time to play. We threw the frisbee around and jumped some rope. As we were about to leave the girls got together and sang us a couple more songs to see us off.

Tilapia Pond

Bee Hives

Jump Rope Time!

I pulled two of her lower baby teeth. 
It seemed like she wanted to smile but didn't want to show off my work.

Dog trying to cool off (or hide) under the car.
These dogs get food from people. 
There were tons of dogs all around.

One of the girls waving at us as we left.

As we were getting ready to leave, the girls sang us a few more songs. We had a great time treating and playing with the girls at the orphanage. I definitely did not want to leave.

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