The September trip was very successful thanks to the wonderful volunteers.
Dr Tim Topalov who had been at Kopan Monastery in 2016, returned with his own group for the first week. They were the first group to go alone which worked out extremely well. The clinic manager, Sangye Tenzin ensured that any problems were attended to and organized the flow of patients. Sangye who is a Kopan monk, looked after the volunteers needs at the monastery. They had a very productive and enjoyable trip, and I am very pleased that they are returning in September 2018 to continue the good work. Many thanks to Tim, Tania, Ben, Kate, Jo and Rita.
In the following week I was joined by Lilian, Malissa, Janet, Lyndal, Pema and The Happy Tooth group. We treated mainly nuns from the nearby nunnery and a group from the Nifon orphanage. Using the three chairs we completed many restorations and scalings. The spirit of the project was reflected in the harmony and attitude of the volunteers who had come from different backgrounds.
It is thrilling that everyone generously donated equipment and supplies which are essential to the functioning of the clinic.
Jude and John arrived in the third week to fly to Solukhumbu. We sent all our dental gear by road and enjoyed a 40 minute scenic flight to Phaplu. The 3 hour trek to our destination at Chialsa completed the journey. It was our second trip to the Tibetan settlement which is on a ridge 2700m altitude with scenic views to Everest. It was rewarding to see the vast improvement in oral hygiene in the children we had treated on the previous trip a year ago.
Thanks to the generosity of the International College of Dentists and others such as Jude and John we left all the equipment we had taken for future visits.
This is part of a 5 year plan Jude, John and myself had proposed. Jude and John will continue leading groups annually to provide much needed dental care and education for the children boarding at the school. The children come from impoverished backgrounds with many grandparents acting as guardians. They have no opportunity to seek care elsewhere. Please read John’s blog about the trip.
Another returning volunteer is Dr Ian Woodhouse who is going to Chialsa in April with Jude, John, Deserae and Vicky, experienced and remote workers.
There are three teams for the April 2018 visit to continue the work been done with such big hearted spirit and generosity.