Friday, October 16, 2009

Preparations Are Under Way

On Thursday, October 22, a small, but mighty, team departs for a volunteer dental mission to Paraty, Brazil. The team of 6 will treat the children on the island of Ilha do Araujo in the state of Rio de Janeiro.

Team members include Dr. Robert Arbuckle (Wilton, CT), Dr. Caprice Dakwar (Rochester, NY), Susan Frank - RDH (Harrison, NY) , Rebecca Trimarchi - dental assistant (Carmel, NY), Sharon Kleinberg - assistant (New York, NY) and Dana Buffin - team administrator (Sherman, CT). For Sharon and Susan this will be their first experience as volunteers on a dental mission.

The team will work in 2 different locations over the course of 5 days and expects to provide oral hygiene instruction, cleanings and extractions to 400 patients. While dental care is available in Brazil, it is financially out of reach for the children of the Cai├žara, the fishermen of the island.

Many months have gone into planning this mission and the team members all pay for travel expenses and in country expenses out of pocket. Fortunately, the team is being hosted in the private home of Silvia and Graziella Pazzanese.

OK, OK, so the accommodations aren't too shabby.

A quick note of thanks to Margarety Premoli who graciously agreed to translate documents and supply lists for the team after an "out of the blue" phone call requesting her help. To Missy Law, of the HTC home office, who in her 24 years with HTC has played a crucial role in helping thousands and thousands of children. And to Danilo Santos for his time and energy in securing supplies and equipment for the team.

We hope that you'll check in with us as we post photos, thoughts and experiences from each day.

After 5 days of back breaking work (the team does not work in a true dental clinic, but rather, fashions "dental chairs" from school desks and chairs), the team will spend Halloween weekend in Rio.

We hope that you will join us on our journey...healing the children, one tooth at a time.