Mission: Iraq 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
This was my second trip with Global Kindness Foundation to Iraq and it was one of the most fulfilling experiences in my life. Travelling across the globe with a group of people for several weeks and leaving behind my wife and kids presented with many challenges and opportunities. Our typical day started bright and early and upon arriving at the school work started right away. Cleaning up our equipment from the dust that settled overnight, setting up the rooms and equipment, and having our morning huddle. Everyone on the trip soon found their roll and after a few days we were operating efficiently while having a great time. It was amazing to see how we managed to setup and run a modern dental practice that provides comprehensive treatment in conditions where electricity, light and clean water were rare commodities. The energy that was in the air provided from the new volunteers and the seasoned veterans was contagious and fostered an environment of teamwork and learning. The children that entered from their classrooms were greeted with enthusiastic volunteers who sat them down and put them at ease by playing games with them on an iPad. Thereafter they were seen for treatment, most were in need of basic care such as cleanings and preventative sealants, while others required comprehensive care on most of their teeth. A group of 3-4 volunteers per dentist worked like clockwork to assist in treatment, translate what was happening to the patient, cleaning and setting up for the next patient. After treatment was completed the children were looked after by volunteers who would cuddle with them, play games with them and help them return back to class. After returning from the trip, many of us caught ourselves daydreaming of the trip and reminiscing about the great times we had.