Dr. Viitala is a veteran dentist from Finland, who has been volunteering at the DVI clinic since 1987. Dr. Viitala has been practicing dentistry since 1977, and currently works in a municipal clinic where she treats children and adults. Here is what she had to say about her experiences:
“I was touring Israel in 1986, when a friend from Finland happened to mention that another friend was volunteering as a dentist in Jerusalem. I was very interested, and came down a few days later to see the clinic. I met Trudi, who immediately invited me to volunteer. It was like an answer to my prayers – I wanted very much to volunteer as a dentist! So when I got home, I arranged to volunteer and came for the first time in February 1987. Since then, I have volunteered whenever I can.
I have learned a lot working in the DVI clinic:
- I have learned to know the country, about which I earlier had only read about in books in school.
- I have learned to use two new languages: English and Hebrew.
- I had the privilege to know Trudi for 15 years, her beautiful way of thinking, her love to others and to the clinic and her joy, also.
- When I go in Jerusalem after work to a shop to buy food for the evening, I don’t feel, that I am only a tourist, I feel , that I am one of the citizens of the country.
- I have learned to miss Jerusalem when I am not there, like I miss my own home village in Finland when I am away.
- I have also learned , that the truth is the most important thing.
- And even people might think differently about various things, there can be a strong connection between them.”