A Message From Our Field Coordinator in Lebanon Marta
My reflections after 2 years with Dental Mavericks
by Marta Żęcin
It’s been a little bit over 2 years since I joined Dental Mavericks in Lebanon and the time has come to say goodbye. I remember my first days in Qob Elias in Bekaa Valley after I arrived for what was supposed to be a 3 month contract. Even if I’ve been there before as a volunteer dentist everything seemed new and unfamiliar. Two years later Lebanon feels like my second home. A place where I met some of my best friends and so many other kind and generous people who made me feel like I belong to this place.
Lebanon, as beautiful as it is, has been going through one of its most difficult times in history and running Dental Mavericks projects under these circumstances was a big challenge. In October 2019, when the Lebanese revolution started I had to move to Beirut and put all volunteer trips on hold. Shortly after, the Covid-19 pandemic started and once again we couldn’t run our project activities for a few months. When the rest of the world was slowly getting used to the “new reality” the Beirut Blast happened on the 4th of August 2020.
There are no words to describe this tragedy and the heart-breaking images and stories that emerged in the following days. After the explosion we reached out to people who suffered from trauma to their mouth and that was the start of our most successful and sustained project “Beirut Emergency Clinic”. It gave me an opportunity to work with a fantastic local team who understood our values. Reading patients testimonials who not only received a high quality treatment but also praised the dentists for their empathy and kindness was the highlight of this collaboration for me.
Working with Dental Mavericks gave me a unique opportunity to get experience in the humanitarian field and live my dream of moving to Lebanon. It was not an easy two years, but despite all the difficulties, perhaps the most satisfying and joyful time in my adult life. I would like to thank everyone I have met on this journey and who made this experience so special.