My family and I just returned from Turks & Caicos (part of Kennedy Seminars’ dental destination program). It was a nice and relaxing time for all. The food was good (even picky eaters can find something), the weather was perfect (we had to avoid the sun at times because it was a bit overwhelming), the Sesame Street Entertainment was top notch (Cookie Monster was really dancing his butt off!), and the water (beach, pool, water park) was nothing less than perfect. A great time had by all, I’m sure.
Yes, I could have complained that they didn’t have the best selection of tequila, but I learned my lesson from last time: this year, I brought some of my own down (Don Julio 70th Anniversary….mmmm…)! And I even gave some to the bartender. She loved it! Also, one of the dentist’s husbands I was with brought down everything he needed to make the best Ceasar’s I’ve ever had – thanks Tom! Spending quality time with good people was probably the best thing about this trip. And the full body massage at the spa was also very relaxing. FYI: don’t pour eucalyptus oil on hot coals in the Sauna. Apparently, they’re flammable. Finally, I couldn’t complain about the no-see-ums (i.e. sand fleas) this time because I didn’t get one bite on my body; my secret weapon was taking Vitamin D pills prior to leaving and spraying with “Off” and rubbing my legs and feet with bounce (you know that thin you stick in the dryer) before I arrived on the beach. Worked like a charm! Not one bite! And I spent all day on the beach. And many others did get bitten. You should bring it down whenever you head to the Caribbean.
By the way, here are some pics of the resort:
Now, importantly, I wanted to share some thoughts with you…
We professionals (lawyers and dentists) are very privileged. We have nice things. We make a decent living (above average). And when you compare our lives to those in the Caribbean, we are truly blessed. In Turks & Caicos, for example, the average income is $5 / hour. That is actually quite high when you compare it to the rest of the Caribbean (I think Aruba has the highest). But the cost is living is through the roof (I visited an IGA where a pineapple costs USD$8 and an avocado costs USD$3 and a 2-4 of beer costs USD$90!). How can they afford to live when basic items are so expensive?
What about other countries in the area? Well, the average working Jamaican only makes USD$60 per week. The average working Mexican earns $5 per day. And the average government job in Cuba pays $1 every day.
How could they possibly afford to have dental treatment that costs $100 or more? In Turks & Caicos, for example, I learned that there was only 1 public dentist and the other private dentists were very expensive (think USD$3,000 for a root canal). But there is such a high need for dental services throughout the Caribbean.
That’s why I’m more determined than ever to bring Canadian dentists down to impoverished countries in the Caribbean to volunteer their time treating locals. And the Sandals Foundation and Great Shape! Inc. (US not for profit) have been doing it for years. where are all the Canadian dentists? ‘s time for us to give back and have a great experience doing it. m looking forward to this coming August, when we will be starting our annual dental outreach program in Jamaica. goal is to eventually expand the program to Turks & Caicos (I spoke with the PR officer down at Beaches there and she loved the idea!), St. Lucia, Bahamas.