Sunday, July 8, 2012


     Two things we weren't able to find in the three markets where we looked  were rosemary and basil:  key ingredients in two of my favorite dishes.  We decided to just go to a nursery and buy the plants, but we found that nurseries in town carry only ornamental plants, no vegetables or spices.  I was fixing salmon for company dinner, and I needed rosemary!  I couldn't find it in time for dinner, so we changed the recipe.  The next day we went to another nursery and found both plants, so I bought them and now will always have them.  The basil I found was a little different than the kind I have at home, so I took a leaf off the plant and chewed it to see if it was good.  As I was chewing, I realized I had just eaten food without washing it.  I held it in my mouth and spit it out as soon as the nurseryman turned away.  Then I quickly went to the car to wash my mouth with Aqua Pura.  It is important to make sure vegetables are washed in Biocyde to disinfect and clean vegetables.  The policy is:  If you peel or boil you don't have to disinfect, but everything else you have to disinfect with special soap, rinse and dry before you eat it.  I think that's why it is hard to find vegetables in the stores and why everyone eats rice and beans at every meal.  The best part is that I now have a the beginnings of a vegetable garden.  This weekend we went to four other "viveros" outside of the City looking for tomato plants.  None sells them.  Several people said, "Why do you want to grow your own when they are so cheap in the market."  I just do, and I want to plant them in several empty planters at the orphanage that houses our clinic.  I think the children could learn something valuable and expand their diet slightly.  I have decided that I want some vegetable seeds in the Christmas box.
     In the last couple of weeks we have gone out to lunch or dinner a couple of times.  Once at Taco Bell and another time at a Chinese restaurant.  It is possible to find most any American fast food restaurant and many of the restaurant chains here.  In fact the Mission home President owns 42 Taco Bells.  Most days we pack a lunch to take to the clinic which we scarf down between the morning and afternoon patients.  Some days we don't get a break.
Hector, quiet for the moment.
     We had some interesting patients this week. Two of the orphanages that we see children from are really daycare government centers.  These children are street children whose parents work all day and so they would either be with their parents on the street or be at home alone.  In any case the children had not been to the dentist.  Judging from their reactions to the toothbrushes they received in the clinic, I think it was the first they had ever had.  We show a cute little film staring the tooth fairy which teaches about brushing and eating good food.  One little boy who we treated had a mouthful of problems.  He was really hyper and we thought to ourselves this is going to be tough.  We sat him in the chair and got everything ready, but he was totally intrigued by the chair and wanted to go up and down.  He loved the vacuum so he wanted to have me use that about every minute.  He wanted to see what Wayne was doing so we let him hold a mouth mirror.  He caught a glimpse of the needle and he was very concerned, but when he watched in the mirror he was fine.  I rested his hands under my hand on his chest and rubbed his forehead with my other hand.  When the injection was over, he wanted me to continue rubbbing his head.  He was so good and such a lucky draw for us, because we treated him while we listened to crying and screaming from the other two chairs.  They weren't hurt, just afraid.  We completed all the work on the upper teeth and will see Hector again in two weeks.  I am excited to see him again.
     Another exceptional patient was Oscar from Belize.  He has been a member of the church for one year and is the only member in his family.  He is 21 and works on a banana plantation.  He wants to go on a mission, but when he went to the dentist in Belize he was told he would have to pay $1500.00 which would have prevented him from ever being able to go.  He traveled 9 hours on a bus to Guatemala City to be treated in our clinic for free, spent the night at the CCM, (MTC in Spanish) spent the entire afternoon in the chair in order to get everything done and then spent the night at the CCM again and then traveled the 9 hours on the bus again.  He really, really wants to go on a mission.  I really admire his faith and determination.

     One last interesting incident.  We worked on these kids who were Indians from some remote place in Guatemala where they don't speak Spanish or English.  They speak Quiche (key chay).  They also like to wear gold in their mouth; it is a sign of status in their society.  We had one kid who had stars on his two upper centrals.  Another boy had a gold bridge that went from eyetooth to eyetooth and purely decoration.  His problem was that he had decay at the gumline all along the bridge.  Dr. Call took the bridge off and then advised him not to put it back on because it wouldn't fit right after Dr. Call fixed the teeth.  Then the kid came to us for Wayne to do some fillings.  The plan was that Wayne was going to do the work in the front too, but we could tell he didn't want to give up wearing the bridge.  He looked like he was going to cry.  Finally Wayne and I had to leave early for some reason, so we passed the kid back to Dr. Call, hurriedly cleaned up and left the clinic.  An hour or so later we got a call from the clinic wanting to know what I had done with the bridge.  I think the boy thought we had stolen it.  (It was probably worth $1800.00 not to mention the emotional value he placed on it.  I could only guess that I had thrown it away when I cleaned up and now it would have been out in the garbage bin along with all the orphanage trash.  Fortunately they were able to find it wrapped in a bloody gauze in the trash.  Thank goodness! 



Jennifer said...

I am so glad they found his bridge! Those stars are quite a fashion statement aren't they! I will have to show Dave when he gets back from Camp with the scouts. I am so glad found your herbs. Life without rosemary is a terrible one in deed;-)

Willie said...

Wow, you've had some interesting experiences lately! It is so amazing and inspiring to me when I hear about kids who will do just about anything to serve the Lord. He will be a great missionary I'm sure. Also glad they found the bridge. Phew! Hope the dinner went well with Regina's family.

Willie said...

By the way, it was me, Andrea on that last comment, not Willie. I am on his email. oops!

RuSty and LaLa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RuSty and LaLa said...

Bling Bling, money ain't a thing. That is crazy. To think some of your patients have never seen a tooth brush and then these guys have all this gold in their mouth, the extremes. love ya!