Having the opportunity to visit the schools was so rewarding and enjoyable! I will always remember the sincere warm welcomes and many hugs from the children and how their contagious excitement grew on every visit. It was so amazing to share oral health information and screen many different age groups, and our translators were always so enthusiastic. I have to say that the school visits were definitely one of my favorite parts of this whole experience and I already miss the smiling faces of the children- it was so hard to say goodbye! The opportunity to see a variety of different intraoral findings all in one day was also an experience in and of itself that may not be repeated in Canada to the same degree.
Working at the community center Entreamigos was a highlight of my experience as well; from the positive environment to supportive staff, it was an amazing team-building experience. One of my favorite parts about being at Entreamigos was that all of our working "units" (aka lawn chairs) were oriented in a big circle so every student was in close proximity making the experience very fun and supportive. If one of us needed a break, or supplies, a classmate was always close by to lend a helping hand. I feel that my clinical skills have grown so much from working at Entreamigos and I have more confidence and I am truly excited for my future in this profession. The support and coaching I received was indispensable and I feel that what I have encountered and conquered while on this study abroad program will influence and enhance my professional practice. I was challenged at times with the language barrier and with debriding some tenacious calculus, but I overcame these challenges with help from Tanya and the translators (it was so amazing to have this support!) and with coaching tips from Ada and Melissa (and always keeping sharp instruments!) I was better able to build my confidence and speed while working on these difficult classification clients. I feel so encouraged and excited to continue growing and improving as a clinician and I am so happy and grateful for all that I