Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A post from Coreen...

This past week was our first stretch of 8am-6pm full-day clinics! It was incredibly rewarding. The operatories were considerably less ergonomic than what we are used to at the college. However, what lacked in up-to-date equipment made up for in our clients! Each and every one of my clients was very grateful for what we had to offer. One of my clients even gave me a hug after her many hours of treatment! This experience so far has been very rewarding! 

However, it is not just during our clinics that provide an opportunity to learn and grow, our days off have also been a rich array of opportunities as well. For instance, on one of our days off I had the opportunity to take surfing lessons and surf for the first time! I have always wanted to experience this but did not think it was possible until now. Initially I was afraid of trying because I did not know if I could do it and if I did how would I get off of the board without falling? To my surprise I found the whole experience exhilarating...and yes, I did fall off the board...many times, but I did learn how to surf!!! The lesson I learned about this adventure is that in order to achieve a goal you have to be willing to risk falling...If I had been too afraid to fall I would have never learned to surf. This also applies to other areas of life as well...I am still learning!  Some of the other excursions and extra activities that we have taken part of is a bike tour. That too was a bit of an adventure! It was a lot more rigorous than I envisioned it to be. We found ourselves cycling through rocks and sand...up and down small hills out in the countryside of San Pancho. The scenery was beautiful. We even saw horses, cows and goats. Initially, I was nervous about cycling through terrain that I was not use to but I took the plunge and it proved to be a wonderful experience! Some of my classmates also went horseback riding on the beach one day! The natural beauty and simplicity of San Pancho makes up for the long hours of hard work in the clinic setting!  One thing we did that was a little less adventurous yet still fascinating was the bird watching tour...I was not sure if I would enjoy it, however, our tour guide was an incredible source of information on the local birds and his knowledge and joy for birds was contagious!  It made me realize that if I stop and take a longer look at the things around me there is more than meets-the-eye.  I would not normally notice many of the beautiful birds that he pointed out to us.  This principle can be applied to other areas in my life as well.  If I take the time to really notice the things around me, I can see the beauty within. 

Another memorable excursion was a trip to Puerto Vallarta for a food festival which was a fundraiser benefitting a number of non-profit organizations and appeared to be a success as over 1,500 tickets were sold! There were musicians and dance groups that volunteered to make the event entertaining. The food was presented by many of the fine dining and other food establishments from the surrounding area of Puerto Vallarta. Overall the food festival was a beautiful display of talent and goodwill!
 I would normally not notice on my own one of the non-profit organizations benefiting from the fundraiser is Entreamigos, which is a non-profit community centre situated in San Pancho! Entreamigos is where we have set up our dental hygiene clinic for the remainder of our clinic time here in San Pancho. It is an incredible community centre that provides a plethora of activities for the community. Its mission statement is: " increase learning opportunities for children and families through the implementation of educational programs based on principles of integration and collective community action.” and its vision is: "to provide the children and families of San Pancho with the skills needed to contribute to their changing communities in a positive way.." It is quite the success because it is funded primarily by private donations and also relies heavily on the support of volunteers

So far this field study has been full of learning experiences both inside and outside of the clinic setting.  It has also reminded me of how important it is to give back to a community, whether it be volunteering or sharing one's passion!     

1 comment:

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