PKBatth's Travel Journals

PKBatth PK Batth

 
What is the best ethnic food you ever had that you just can't find at home?

Rice and Beans! I cannot tell you how often I crave this Belizean delicacy!

  • From Windsor, Canada
  • Currently in San Ignacio, Belize

Belize 2011 - Mission Accepted

Reuniting with Belize, my long lost love! This trip is more than a getaway, as I have some serious goals I hope to achieve during my time in beautiful Belize.

Bullet Tree & Beyond

Belize San Ignacio, Belize  |  Aug 08, 2011
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 With many children living in the local homes we visited, I took time to teach them proper brushing techniques. The kids were so cute! They all were excited to receive their new toothbrushes and toothpaste. 

Dear Journal,

     A miscommunication led to a very great day today. This Monday was suppose to be the start of our Project Clinics at San Ignacio homes but our Project Coordinator, Ronnie was unable to get a hold of the house owners where we were suppose to set up. So instead we went to a village not too far from San Ignacio. We were going into a rural area of Belize and the second I found out we were going to a village I became super excited. Working in the rural areas of Belize is something I absolutely love doing and want to do as often as I possibly can.   

     We stocked up on supplies, packed up into Ronnie's car and headed towards Bullet Tree. Although it was only a 15-minute drive, it was very clear we were no longer in San Ignacio. There were no restaurants, places to hang out, or any stores. We stepped out of the car into the blistering heat, but I was ready to get started. We all grabbed a bag of supplies and headed towards the first house. We asked the residents of every house we visited if they wanted to take part and have a free diabetes screening. Many were very receptive to what we were offering. While testing people's blood pressure and blood glucose level, I also was preparing oral health handouts. We gave locals toothbrushes, toothpaste and a hand out on good oral health practices that I designed. It was nice to reach some people who normally wouldn't go in to have these vitals checked, given their location and financial standing. The people were all so kind and thankful.

     With many children living in the local homes we visited, I took time to teach them proper brushing techniques. The kids were so cute! They all were excited to receive their new toothbrushes and toothpaste. I must have brushed my teeth over 10 times that day! I was really glad to have the opportunity to give my donations to people who really needed it and appreciated it.

      There was this one boy who was riding around the village on his red bike. We went to his home and met his mother, who soon called for him to come over as well. While starting to check the mother's blood pressure and explaining some basic healthy habits, I turned my attention to the boy. His teeth were nearly all eroded away and the ones left behind were as dark as coal. If felt like a dagger had pierced my heart. I asked the mother what had happened to his teeth. She explained that he was really sick a few months back. The doctor had given him antibiotics to help with his illness but they were too strong for him so they switched him to vitamins for treatment. The vitamins were too strong as well and the combination of the two powerful treatments for him caused the severe damage I witnessed. I then suggested if she could go in to see the local dentist in Cayo. She responded with how she wanted to, but couldn't afford to do so. The dagger was pushed even deeper into my heart. I so badly wished I could have pulled out the necessary dental equipment to help him. Instead I found myself quietly beginning to take the mother's blood pressure with pain in my soul, not having any more suggestions to give. I handed the little guy a toothbrush and toothpaste and gave him a great big smile, to try and hide my pain. I found comfort in the thought that maybe, just maybe, the teeth I saw were just his primary and hopefully his permanent teeth will replace what I saw.      

     If it wasn't for the heat, I would have been out there all day trying to reach as many people as I could. I wanted to spread as much awareness in this little community as possible, but my body just wouldn't let me fight off the exhausting effects of the heat. I was still very glad to have been given the chance to take part in this project though. I felt like we reached many people and talked to a notable amount about the importance of healthy living habits. This day helped me affirm my previous passion of spreading awareness and providing care to people living in the rural areas of Belize, where clinics and hospitals are not just down the street. Today was a small step towards my dream, a dream of helping the ones I feel like need it most.

Although we came out to Bullet Tree to raise awareness, Bullet Tree taught me even more about what it takes to fulfill my dreams. I'll be back Bullet Tree, mark my words.

Best,

PK

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