Dental Care - Medical Domain Engagement with Amelia

Hanoi, 2015.

Four ladies from Texas set foot on Vietnamese soil for the first time in their lives. Amelia, Grace, Amanda and Autumn spent the next four days providing dental care for children in Hanoi. On the first day, the Dental Team went to Birla orphanage. While half of the team was prodding dental checks and fixes, the other members entertained and socialized with the children. They were accompanied by a local dentist, Mrs. Hau, for the trip and two GVI translators to help communicate with the children.

Day 2 was spent at SS3, where GVI has been sponsoring a kindergarten. All 15 of kindergarteners were checked. Fortunately, their first dentist appointment was a fun experience, because they each came home with new tooth brushes and toothpastes. Amelia also gave the whole class a lesson on dental hygiene in an exciting demonstration with their stuffed fish. Once the dental work was done, the four friends continued to wash hands and paint nails for the elderly who also lived at SS3.

The next day was a real test of teamwork for the group. With the help of another dentist from Chuong My hospital, the team headed to the local middle school. Here, Amelia and the two local dentists set up three stations for dental checks and Amanda, Grace and Autumn worked on brushing the 517 student’s teeth with fluoride. The fourth day was busy with lots and lots of tooth extractions and fillings. By the end of the afternoon, more than a hundred teeth were pulled and filled. The students were so happy to make new friends, they stuck around after school to ask for autographs from everyone on the team. Amelia and her team were rock stars for doing what they’ve done and here, they were seen as rock stars for many students.

Amelia Baugh grew up hearing about the Vietnam War, and that was all she knew about Vietnam. “I want to see it for myself, and learn about Vietnam’s perspective” said Amelia. Her friends and teammates each had different expectations prior to their trip to Vietnam, but they all shared the same feeling once they had left the country. Grace Brown explained: “I was surprised by how much people seemed to welcome us and appreciate us being there. My trip gave me a deep love for the people of Vietnam and also serving others.” When asked to summarize her experience in Vietnam in three words, Autumn answered: “Life changing opportunity”.