Dental Assistant Volunteer - Tracey Doble

When my boss, Chris Snell, asked me to work in East Timor with him I thought it was too good an opportunity to do some volunteer work which I couldn't refuse. Chris thought Equal Health has a good mentoring theme and he liked the way Equal Health work with local people in villages.

My first impression of East Timor was shock and disbelief ... the conditions that the local people live and work in every day. However, there were many highlights and favourite memories of my time in East Timor: Timor Leste, the people and the mountains. It was amusing to have an elderly man with a good amalgam filling want it changed for a white filling! Needless to say, there were a lot more important jobs to do.

There is no comparison of working in East Timor to Australia. What I really noticed was that the people are far more appreciative and happier than those in Australia.

After my time in East Timor, I hope that I am a more thoughtful person towards people of other countries, especially those that are not as fortunate as we are in Australia. I also hope to become less materialistic.

If you are thinking about going to Timor Leste, read as much as possible before you go and try and learn some key words - it certainly will help.

Tracey Doble - Dental Assistant, Dr Snell and Aurelio Surgery, Victoria