Tihueliske Children Raise their Toothbrushes!
Dear Supportors of Motlan Dental Program and healthy kids,
The Atzin dentist, Oscar, regularly visits the schools to teach children about taking care of their teeth. He brings along his portable dental chair so that he can do rapid assessments of their mouths and assist each child to feel more comfortable about having a dental exam. Berta and Yolanda are Atzin's dental promotors and they help the children to learn how to care for their teeth. Sometimes they read a story to the class first, like the story below about Tomas from Atzin's book, Kokonemeh The Children of Tlamacazapa, Mexico.
Tomas Visits the Dentist
Tomas has never been to the dentist. He does not want to go. He says, “No, I don’t want to see the dentist! Not me! I don’t want to go!” But when everyone in his Tihueliske class lines up to visit the dentist, Tomas does too. When it is his turn, Tomas slowly climbs up onto the chair and opens his mouth wide.
The dentist checks his teeth, one by one, up and down, left and right. Tomas can hardly swallow, and a strange tube sucks up his spit! Then, the dentist says, “You’re done. Adiós!” and gives him a toothbrush to take home.Tomas jumps down and grins, “Wow, that was easy." Sometimes, it is scary to try something new. But when we do, we discover our courage.
Isn't that just the truth? We gain courage and make progress by taking considered risks and bravely venturing into unfamiliar territory. Work in community development is like that, whether we are talking about a technical service like the startup of a dental program or a complex programmatic response to high illiteracy - we are so often on new ground and doing rapid assessments to get our bearings. And sometimes, to our collective surprise, the result is: wow, that was easy!
Until next time, Susan
Children with Dentist after Oral Hygiene Class