The Blogger has recently returned from Ecuador and wanted to post a blog to let you all know how the trip went. First, with the help of many friends, family, customers and suppliers, I more than doubled my goal for contributions to Ecuadent. Thank you very much. I appreciate your help and generosity and, I'm sure I can say that Ecuadent appreciates it as well. For more info on Ecuadent see www.ecuadent.org. As for the trip, during the 5 days that we were working, we saw more than 1000 kids. We treated 926 of them during our long, sometimes 10-12 hour days. Not only was it a lot of work, it was also an eye opening experience. The level of poverty was something that I will never forget. There were houses with dirt floors, no windows or doors, no running water, etc., etc. We Americans don't realize how good we have it. I am guilty of that as well but, the best part of the trip was hanging with the kids. Although I went there with the understanding that I would be doing sterilization, my job description shifted when the sterilization dude from the previous year showed up. It was a relief for me and very welcome as I wanted to be with the kids. I became known as the "clown doctor". Because I had to wear scrubs, the kids thought I was a doctor too. The clown part comes from the fact that I was juggling, yo-yo'ing and generally being goofy. My job was to get the kids in, get them through triage and then get them to the rooms where they needed to be. As I told the others, I had the best job there. I fought and got beat up by boys with inflatable batons, I danced the girls to their seats and taught a bunch of Ecuadorian kids how to yo-yo. It was awesome!! It was undoubtedly the most personally rewarding thing I have ever done. What I saw and experienced, would cause even the hardest of men to melt. One kid with cerebral palsy came in and I had to carry him off the bus and then from station to station. He came with a dilapidated wheelchair and when we brought in a new one for him, his mom cried, I cried, heck I think everyone was crying at one point or another. It still brings tears to my eyes when I think of it. If you haven't volunteered your time, I would encourage you to do so. We all have skills that can be passed and taught to others and, I guarantee, it will definitely be rewarding and surely will put a smile on your face as well as those you are passing it to. I can't wait to go back next year.