Hunter becomes the hunted

by Bill Boyle

(Note: Bill and Lynda Boyle recently returned from a trip to the Holy Land. These are a few of their experiences.)

When you meet a Maughan, it doesn’t take long to learn that they love to hunt. I have been hearing Maughan family hunting stories for decades and even if only ten percent of them are true, they are still amazing.

Since I am not much of a hunter, hearing the stories is as close as I have been to a Maughan hunt… until now. Now I have a Maughan hunting story of my own. But instead of a Maughan as a hunter, this story is of a Maughan as the hunted.

Craig Maughan has traveled around the world, hunting creatures great and small. While Craig may be at home in a massive wilderness far from civilization, visiting a foreign city far from home is a different experience.

It takes about 20 minutes to walk from the apartment where we were staying in Jerusalem to the offices of Dental Volunteers for Israel (DVI), where Craig was doing volunteer work. DVI sent a taxi the first morning and showed Craig the way.

Craig set out to walk to work the next morning. The DVI office called about 25 minutes later to report that he had yet to arrived. When they called again 15 minutes later, everyone was worried.

The clinic was filling up with patients and Craig was out there somewhere. We made a dash to the office and started the process of finding Dr. Maughan in a city of 500,000 people. It didn’t take long before we found Craig wandering down a city street about a mile from the DVI office.

Craig was in great spirits, enjoying his walk despite the fact that he had no money, no passport, didn’t know the language and had no clue where he was. I take that back, he had a hunter’s sense of where he was.

Afterwards, as we were laughing about the whole ordeal, Craig’s wife mentioned that she wanted to go shopping at the market. Craig said, pointing to the northwest, “I know exactly where the market is, I passed it a few times.” I was the one that had to tell him that the market was southeast of us.

We learned one thing about hunting a Maughan. We decided that the thing to do to keep this old hunter from getting lost again was to dress him in the Jerusalem tourist equivalent of hunter’s orange. A bright yellow “I love Jerusalem” sweatshirt and fluorescent pink umbrella did the trick.

DVI offers free dental care each year for more than 4,000 children in Jerusalem and beyond.

The key to offering free dental service to children is securing free services from dentists. Four or five dentists from around the world provide dental care four days each week from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The only reimbursement is the housing DVI provides in apartments around the city.

Dr. Craig Maughan, of Monticello, recently sold his dental practice and began a well-earned retirement. In recent weeks, he offered three weeks of volunteer service for DVI.

Dr. Maughan reports that he thoroughly enjoyed the work. He said he could tell that the beautiful children he worked with don’t eat as much sugar as their counterparts in America.

DVI was started in 1980 by Trudi Birger, a Holocaust survivor from Germany who was determined to offer children the dental services she lacked during the war. Birger passed away in 2002, but the organization she started is still going strong.

From a simple office in a quiet neighborhood of Jerusalem, DVI provides the care free of charge. Children are referred to the organization by social service groups in the area.

In addition to receiving dental care, the children are taught the basic of preventative care. The DVI offices were filled with boisterous children moving from training seminar to seminar. The sounds of laughter seemed out of place for a dental office.

DVI benefits from the donated labor and from donations of equipment, supplies and cash from dentists around the world. The small DVI office was overflowing with boxes of supplies from manufacturers. A dental chair was recently donated by the BYU Jerusalem Center.

Nedal Alayyan is one of the most satisfying success stories at DVI. The Palestinian Arab was a young boy in desperate need of dental care when he was first referred to DVI. While receiving care, he decided to become a dentist when he grew up.

His dreams were far fetched because not a single member of the poor Alayyan family had ever attended college, let alone completed the demanding requirements to become a dentist. Alayyan persevered and eventually realized his dream. He now has a successful dental practice in the Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. One day a week, he returns to the DVI offices and offers the same free dental services that he received as a child.

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