The day after our arrival in Guatemala we loaded up our dental chairs, portable units, compressors and supplies and made the 4 hour drive to Chiqimula. We had a police escort, which gave us some comfort since we were to be driving through some unsafe areas where kidnappings and robberies take place.
We spent the first day seeing patients at the hospital in Chiquimula. We worked with a local dentist who is only allowed to pull one tooth per day/patient, no matter how many teeth are abscessed. (Don't you love socialized medicine?) Because he was taking the week off to work with us, we treated his patients for him before starting our week long mission in the remote mountain villages. We were able to remove as many teeth as needed to be removed, but because of the long lines of people, we weren't able to do any restorations this day. Our goal for the day was to aleviate pain.
The hospital was filled to capacity due to immense sickness in the area. We were told that we were to put on face masks as soon as we entered the hospital and not remove them until we left for the day. With the extreme heat and humidity (90+ degrees with 90% humidity) our glasses would fog up and seeing became quite difficult. We were quite drenched in our own sweat each day.
Sunday evening Lee did the final dental work in our room for this prospective missionary. Lee is signing his mission papers in this photo.