Friday, April 20, 2012

I'm going to Africa! or Saving the world one mouth at a time

My husband is a periodontist (gum surgeon) in the United States Air Force.  
Last summer he spent a few weeks in Suriname (never heard of it-us either. It's on the northern coast of South America) on a humanitarian mission.  It was an amazing experience for him. 
He actually has a 30 minute power point presentation if you're ever in my neighborhood. For those of you not planning to travel to the great San Antonio area, let me show you a few pictures:

Here is the line of people that would gather each morning, waiting to be treated.  They say that the 2 biggest life-changers on trips like these are optometrists and dentists. 
A pair of glasses, or the ability  to eat and speak with out pain is something I take for granted. 
They would work in schools.  They had 3 chairs going at a time and worked in almost an assembly line fashion. (my hubby has a strict "do not blog about him" rule, but since he's wearing a mask I  feel safe-he's the guy in the middle).
It was the most physically demanding dentistry of his life.  He saw so many patients that he actually developed blisters!  While it was physically exhausting, it was rewarding in every other way.

A little side note: For those Mormons that have ever spent some time collecting, and putting humanitarian/ school kits together.  They actually make a difference. These were stacked in the corner of a remote school in the middle of the jungle:)

There are several private groups/ churches that sponsor similar trips around the world. We have always talked about going on some if he ever goes into private practice and makes the big bucks.  

We thought it was just a distant day dream until a colleague at work invited him to go with his church group to Kenya and said that I could even go as his assistant!  It's always been my dream to do something like this-especially to go to Africa (it's even on my 50 by 50 list). At first the idea of raising the kinds of funds to pay for something like this on a government salary seemed a little daunting. However, we reviewed  our finances, and decided that if we save a little every month, we can cover it.  To do my part, I have also decided that 100% of the proceeds of my blog (click here if you want to know how I earn $ from the blog) and etsy store will go towards covering our costs.  So I am going to work really hard to making my blog fabulous so that it attracts lots of readers/ followers and be more committed to my super neglected etsy store (sew some new dresses-take some descent pictures etc.). 

I love the quote, "It is better to light one candle, than to curse the darkness."  This is my way of lighting a candle.

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  1. Wow Tara! That is super cool. What an amazing service opportunity.

  2. As if your husband hasn't given enough just by being in the Air Force, he goes to Africa and does even more for people with less. Don't be blogging about him, but thank him from your blogging world.


  3. I stumbled across your blog looking at teacher gifts...then came across Africa. My mom will be making her 3-4 trip there this summer. It is a wonderful thing, you will enjoy it!
    :) Leina