Wednesday, June 13, 2012

     It is Tuesday night and we are feeling at home.  We got here Sunday night and were met at the airport by The Calls and the Johnsons (the other two dentists and their wives) and Regina,s mother and son-in-law.It was wonderful to meet Regina's mother.  She was very sweet and brought us a beautiful bouquet of roses.  We could only visit for a little while because our ride was anxious for us to come with them.  We will get in touch with our other friends soon.
    When we arrived at our apartment building we found our 5 story building was dwarfed by 20 story buildings in the neighborhood.  As we waited for the gate to open to the underground parking, we noticed a uniformed and armed guard at the entrance of the building.  We were told that about 20% of the jobs in the city are security jobs.  We rode up the elevator to the 3rd floor and entered our home for the next 23 months.
     It is beautiful.  We have a kitchen that has more storage space than mine at home.  When we opened the cupboards, we found them stocked with food.  The refrigerator too was full of food.  There is a beautiful dining room that has a lovely window covering the entire eastern wall. There were fresh flowers in the living room and in the dining room.  The found three bedrooms with beds made and two bathrooms with everything we would find in a hotel.  There is a laundry room and a maid's quarters, but no maid.  The maid's room is small with a twin bed and a small bathroom with a shower.  Besides the living room, we also have what they call a sitting room.  It has a TV and right now while I'm in here using the computer, Wayne is watching the U.S. vs. Guatemala futbol game in Spanish.

     On Sunday we went to church in Spanish in a beautiful church which was the first and still is the largest Mormon Church in Central America.  It is very nice and has a large covered parking lot.  About 15 minutes after the beginning of meetings, the gate id closed and guarded.  I guess that's one way to get people to get to church on time.  I was surprised how much I understood of the talks in Sacrament Meeting and in Sunday School.  By the time I got to Relief Society for the third hour, my mind was on overload,  I really understood only isolated words, but not enough to figure out what they were talking about.  By the time I got home I had a tremendous headache.  On Sunday night we had dinner at the Calls and watched a video slide show about the clinic.  I was soo tired since we had stayed up until midnight unpacking the night before, that I was struggling to stay awake.   On Monday morning at 7:30 we put on our brand new scrubs and headed to the office.  Leeanne Call was supposed to stay beside me and coach me as I assisted Wayne chairside, but a girl who usually volunteers on Mondays did not come and poor Wayne was left with me.  In the two days we have had 8 patients.  We have done 3 extractions and cleanings and fillings.  I sometimes can guess correctly what the instrument he asked for is.
     In our building there are 8 Mormon couples all senior missionaries serving in different capacities.  Some are auditors, doctors, secretaries, receptionists, and 3 are dentists.  On Monday we all met for Family Home Evening for a lesson and ice cream sundaes.  The hostess even had home made chocolate syrup.  It was really fun getting to know people.  I found a friend who lives across the hall who was an English teacher at alternative school in Utah.  Her husband served a mission in Uraguay and left for home about 6 months after Wayne arrived.
      Because we work all day in the clinic, we are having a hard time getting some important things done.  We did go to PriceSmart (Costco) for some groceries.  We don't have a car and so we dependent on the Calls or the Johnsons for rides.  We need to go to a bank here to exchange our money for quetzales, get our visas, and meet our leaders. We also are have been unable to hook up Ooma, but some computer expert person is coming Wednesday to help.  Where is Willie when we need him? Our box has not arrived from home, but we called today and they said it would come Thursday.

     These pictures show us on our first day with our first patient, and the second is with the whole staff with our morning patients.  Notice they are all smiling AFTER treatment.  On the left are /dr. Call and his wife Leeann.  Wayne and I are in the middle and Dr. Johnson is on the right. 9

 On Wednesday we saw patients from aorphanage called Los Patitos (Little Ducks).  All the patients were very young ranging from 3 years to seven.  Our first patient was four years old and when she opened her mouth we were shocked to see teeth rotted off at the gumline.  She literally had no teeth.  We ended up doing a fluoride treatment on the tooth nubs hoping to preserve what she had until her permanent teeth come in.  All the kids watched a film about brushing.  Then one of the volunteer dentists who just completed her schooling held up pictures of cartoon characters and the flipped the picture over to show what they would look like if they didn't brush.  Then they got to practice brushing a monkey puppet's teeth.  Hopefully they will use the toothbrushes we gave them.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

One week down and one to go at the MTC (missionary training center)

June 3, 2012

Our Group

Well, we made it through the first week, kind of like boot camp minus the push-ups.  You can see that we have the tags or badges to prove it. 

Resting in-between classes.  Everyday seems like Sunday because we are in suits and dresses and singing hymns and praying all the time.  It makes the Spirit easy to feel and that is a total plus when you see what we have to learn for this mission.

Here we are in our apartment, kind of like a motel.  All of the Senior Missionaries live in this area.