March 2015 Trip Report


Let’s start with a reminder of the upcoming social event/recruiting opportunity.  It will start at 5:30pm on Saturday, April 11 and will be at the same location as the last two, Aunt Chiladas - Squaw Peak.  I hope you’ll be able to join us and take the opportunity to help us recruit new members. It’s a great chance for potential new members to meet a few of us before we launch on our long journeys together.  Dentists and dental hygienists remain high on the list of needed recruits. We could also make good use of more interpreters and our other disciplines as well.

Speaking of recruiting dental professionals, we had a booth at the Western Regional Dental Convention which was held at the Phoenix Convention Center.  You’ll see from the picture below, that we had a very professional presence. The Tucson chapter joined us so there was an opportunity for them to recruit those from their part of the state.  Let’s hope the leads that were generated by both chapter turn into active volunteers! 


We had two successful clinics this month, Lopez Mateos and LSI.  I’ll speak to Lopez and rely on guest commentator Chuck Schroll of the Tucson chapter for the LSI report which appears after my comments.  This whale watching time of year can lead to low patient turnout because so many are working to take advantage of this limit opportunity to make some money.  A look at Alicia’s blog will show you that was not an issue at Lopez Mateos.   It was definitely one of our better clinics.  Also, those who had the chance to do some whale watching described it as amazing.

I was at LSI last month, so this was the first time I’d seen the Lopez clinic since the painting was completed.  I and others were really impressed with how bright and clean everything looked after the repairs.  Amazing what a new coat of paint can do!  Also, it was the first time I’d seen the results from the January work in the dental area.  Several new (to us) chairs were installed and it was nice to see a row of six functioning dental chairs and service carts. (For you in the profession, I should call them dental delivery units.  I’m trainable, but just barely!) It was the first time in a long time that I was not asked to attempt a repair on some piece of critical equipment in the dental area. 

Serenidad was filled to capacity and that was nice to see for a change.  Samaritan and Aeromedico airplanes, and other fly-in and driving in business kept them busy all weekend and they did a great job of handling the load.  I’m sorry, though, to report that our long time cab drivers and friends, Nacho and Salvador, are concerned they will need to find another line of work   I understand Mulege is starting municipal transportation that they believe will take all or most of their business.  If this is true, we wish them future success and prosperity in whatever they choose.

There is something I don’t often acknowledge, but you who have been on a clinic trip know for certain; our group has a really amazing dynamic.  It’s evident at the clinic when the pieces fit together, all without much fuss.  There is little that anyone wouldn’t do to make the clinic successful.  It’s also evident back at the hotel after a long clinic day. One of my favorite things is to take a minute to just observe the evening’s interactions.  Maybe there’s a certain glow that everyone has from knowing the day was a success, or maybe it’s inevitable when you assemble such a great group of people.  Whatever it is, there is something quite special about it all.

The next clinic will be April 17-19 at Lopez Mateos only.  Also, don’t forget to bring those potential recruits to the social event. Even if you don’t have a recruit to bring, your positive influence will help bring some of them along. See you soon!


Chuck Schroll wrote from an LSI perspective:

There were more planes parked at Mulege than we had seen in a long while.  We filled every room in the hotel.  Joe Patterson was the first up Saturday morning and he (amazingly) got all the LSI systems (generator, water, suction) going by the time the rest of us got there. He had a plane full of beautiful ladies to help.

We also had several young folks coming to "help" but on arrival at the lagoon they promptly disappeared into whale boats.  They did return later (and were a big help) with stories of a fantastic time which included sticking human hands into baby whale mouths and scratching their baleen.  (PETA report is pending.)

Folks walked out of (chiropractor) Neita's room taller and straighter, kids came out of (nurse practitioner) Beth's room smiling and smarter, and a steady stream staggered out of Hatch Family Dental dazed with a mouth full of bloody gauze and gratitude in their eyes. 

The community provided a fantastic fish lunch, we took a side trip to walk the beach at Campo Rene, and had a scenic flight back to Mulege.  Saturday night was Gail's birthday party (she was 29) and she was sharing a Margarita in a glass big enough to bathe in (big enough for her, anyway).  It was like old times at Hotel Serenidad.  Don Johnson had tears in his eyes.  We ate the whole pig.