Friday, January 28, 2011

Amanda's Excellent Adventure

So, Tuesday night I was flossing and broke a tooth!  Today, all by myself, I took a taxi to downtown Teguci and saw a dentist and took a taxi back home!  And, I talked the whole way back and forth and (as much as possible) in the dentist chair en espanol!  (As Billy would say, I am shy but talkative.)

What was it like to go to the dentist in Honduras?  A delight.  I must admit, I was a bit scared by the whole idea.  First of all, I don't really like going to the dentist in the US... The office was on a very narrow, pretty dirty street across the street from a hospital.  There was a little blue sign with a tooth on it to indicate which building housed the Clinica Dentista.  (There are no addresses in Honduras.  You just describe where you want to go using landmarks.)  I tentatively walked up the stairs in this otherwise unmarked building.  It was sort of like going into an old walk-up apartment in NYC or somewhere.  On the second floor was a gate with 3 doorbells.  I rang the bell for the dentist and his receptionist came right out to unlock the gate and let me in.  Maritza was a doll from the start.  I told her I was scared and she reassured me that the dentist has a very gentle hand.  The waiting room was not the shiny, professionally decorated waiting room we are used to.  It was very spare, but serviceable.

Soon, I was ushered into the office/examining room.  There was a single chair with the typical equipment, circa 1950s or 60s.  He peered into my mouth and announced that, in addition to my broken tooth, I have two cavities.  I was very nervous and somewhat confused so I had him call Valerie, who had recommended him, to translate for me.  So, once I understood, I thought, "Well, why not."  I said a quick prayer, giving responsibility for my mouth and tooth to God, shut my eyes, and opened wide.  The first thing he did was spray anesthetic spray on my gums and then out came the novocaine needle.  They are as huge here as they are in the US.  (Why do they have to be so scary looking?  Can't some medical supplier figure out how to deliver those shots in pink, flowery hypodermics?)  Maritza came rushing over and grabbed my hand to comfort me while he administered the shot!

I really have to describe his work as artistry instead of dentistry.  He worked on my tooth for an hour, getting it just right.  Oh, first though, he had to tape his drill together to make it work!  The piece that holds the drill bit is supposed to plug into a cord attached to the whole big machine.  Apparently some piece was missing or broken and it wouldn't plug in.  So, he taped it together and buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, here came the drill!  Every once in awhile the phone would ring and he would stop to answer it.  Hondurans are very economical so the gloves stayed on the whole time - phone calls and all!

During one of the calls, Maritza sat beside me to tell me that she loves Jesus, that He is the most important in her life.  Sweet moment.  I have to go back on Monday for him to finish and I can't wait to see them both again! oh, the total cost for fixing a broken tooth and filling two cavities...$45!

This afternoon we had a going away party for Valerie.  The SBV kids came into town on the big blue bus and all the staff was there.  The children put on a variety of "dramas" - all were wonderful, especially the middle and older kids who made a variety of human pyramids!  After, we had delish tacos, tiny empanadas, Honduran sliders (I think the hamburger slide off mine!) and cake.  It was such a great send off for Valerie who has given so much of herself to our precious lambs.

There is so much more I could say but this entry is so long already. Thank you for your patience.  I will close with an array of pictures from the fiesta.

Aaron Joshue, Suzy

Anita and others dancing

The tots doing their program-ish

Building a pyramid

Praying for Valerie
Jahaira - Gina's little sister