Dispatch: Day One

Today is Saturday, 11/3/12, my introduction to the Great Shape dental project in Jamaica. Arrived last night after flying Boston-Miami-Montego Bay and an hour and a half van trip to Jamaica’s south coast. Connected with a dentist from Kentucky. We were greeted with lemon scented hand towels at the Sandals Whitehouse resort.

Rooming with Tim, an equipment technician from the Seattle area. Caught up with a dentist friend from Connecticut and his dentist friends from Scarsdale, NY.

As this is my first time with Great Shape! everything is new. At this point on Saturday evening it is way beyond expectations. Not only does it seem that the people of Jamaica are the friendliest people on the planet, but also this Great Shape organization is composed of remarkable people doing remarkable things. I even learned tonight that Jamaica has started a dental school in large part as a result of the work of Great Shape. Two third year students are part of this week’s program. There is also a dental hygiene program.

This year there is a 30% increase in the volunteer participation. The original goal was to treat 1,000 people. Now 110,000 Jamaicans have had care.

More later.