“Good morning, children. My name is Doctor Gaby and this is Doctor Shipley. We’re here to talk to you about how to take care of your teeth.”

I’m pretty sure that Monday morning was the third time I’ve actually set my alarm in the last two and a half months. Why would I impose such a heinous inconvenience on myself as to allow a clock to wake me up?

I’ve been pretending to be a doctor, lying to children, assisting in a national health program, and wearing clothes that aren’t my own. This is not the kind of thing you get a late start for.

My name is Doctor Shipley. I have a small dental practice in the United States and I also work for a university as a researcher. Ostensibly, I speak no Spanish, but for some unexplained reason have been sent to Peru to observe the national health system.

As much as I want to claim credit for coming up with this idea, it was Gaby’s. I developed my back-story, but she thought of the overall idea. As part of her job, the Ministry of Health requires that she participate in community programs to both educate children and check their teeth. She told me about it and said, “Hey, do you want to borrow some doctor’s clothes and come with me and Cesar to the schools? We’ll just tell them you’re a doctor visiting from the United States to observe the Peruvian health system.”

Continue reading on nathanshipley.com

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  • Nathan Shipley

    I'm a twenty-something guy who’s quit his job to travel around the world on a shoestring budget, alone, with only a rough plan,…

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