Health without Borders (IDS -3183)
Reflection report of the Co-curricular and interdisciplinary activities on global engagement For my first Co-curricular activity I spent my spring break in missions with my church in Managua, Nicaragua. Managua is the capital of Nicaragua and is also the most highly populated city. The team that I came with was a medical dental/agriculture team and we were there to help me churches mission partners, Open Hearts Ministry. Obviously I am not a doctor, but I was able to contribute in many ways. The first day of the trip included the team to visit a nearby town, and the destination was La Concha, which we’ll be visiting again on day two. Our work was cut out for us as we walked into a courtyard filled with over 125 people patiently waiting for both medical and dental services. Of the towns I’ve had the opportunity of visiting during my last two trips to Nicaragua; La Concha is easily my favorite.
In the beginning of the day, I found myself being basically a dental assistant for one of the dentists. This included holding a flashlight so the dentist could see (the room we were in had not light), holding gauze, giving the dentist his instruments, and encouraging the patient telling them that everything would be alright (in Spanish of course). There were three dentists working. Two of the dentists were just going fillings and the other was only doing extractions (pulling out teeth). I was with the dentist that was doing the extractions and it was a great experience. Let’s just say though that my job was not for the faint of heart as you can imagine.
The people from La Concha were very poor and lacked in dental care. They had no knowledge on how to protect/clean their teeth so what we did was give them the tools they need to keep their teeth healthy. We explained how not taking care of your teeth could lead to cavities, loss of teeth, and infections that could cause them to be hospitalized. Most of the people from La Concha had a really bad habit of eating lime. This is very bad for your teeth especially if you do not brush your teeth because of the citric acid in the lime. We told them that it was bad for their teeth and explained if they keep on doing it they could lose their teeth. We also showed them how to properly brush their teeth and supplied them with a toothbrush and toothpaste. As we handed them the toothbrush and toothpaste they smiled and politely said thank you. Not only did we provide first class dental care to these destitute people, but we spread awareness on how important it is to brush your teeth and taught them how to take care of their teeth. It ended up being a great day helping the people of La Concha. I ended up spending half of the week with the medical/dental team and it was an amazing experience. The second co-curricular activity I did was in the same trip, but totally different from the medical/dental team. For the other half of the week I ended up helping the agriculture team. It was honestly so much work, but the results were totally worth it. We started working in this land that was owned by Open Hearts Ministry (the churches global partner).
We started irrigate an area so the people could produce their own food. The area the garden was going to be placed was plowed using two large oxen. I have never seen a field being plowed by oxen so seeing that was an amazing experience. After the field was plowed we placed pipes across the garden so the field could be watered. We ended up placing 800 micro irrigation nozzles within the garden, covering…