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Haiti Day 4

June 11, 2010

May 25, 2010

Up in the morning with rain again. Had breakfast and then cleared all of our sleeping gear from the church floor to make room for a dental clinic. It turns out one of the team members was a dentist and his wife was his assistant. They brought all of the tools and medicine needed to set up the clinic.  We had one table set up with all of the equipment, a folding chair for the patient and a chair with a foam mattress for them to lean their head on.

Dental tools with a portable grinder/suction

There was a table set up to sterilize the instruments after they were used. Several of us were assigned to the clinic while others were scheduled to work in the community garden. The rest of the team got to work with the children of the village doing crafts and playing games.

Station for Sterilizing Instruments

The villagers had been alerted we were coming. There were people waiting before we got set up. We handed out numbers to keep people in order and no one would lose their turn. We had three stations. The first was to examine and give shots to the patients who needed work. We soon found out that most of the people had never seen a dentist and did not know about brushing teeth. The result was everyones teeth were in bad shape and the only solution was to pull the worst ones. The next station was for waiting for the medication to take effect and the third was the dental chair.

The Gathering People Wanting Dental Work

As there was no good light we were forced to hold a flashlight so the dentist to see what he was doing. 

The Dentist Working by the Light of a Flashlight

While the dentist was working, one of the women gave lessons on teeth brushing to the many people who came for dental work as well as many spectators. We had a group of children looking on through the walls all day. 

The Best Show in Town

The dentist saw almost forty people the first day and extracted as many as four teeth from some people, do to the poor condition of their teeth. Again it shows how blessed we are to have regular dental care and be able to brush daily with toothpaste to prevent cavities. The suffering of these people must be great. If you have ever had a tooth ache you know these people had to suffer the pain every day with no help or not even an asburn to soothe the pain. 

One of the Villagers in Front of Her Home

In spite of all of this the people of Baie d’Orange always seemed to have a smile on their face. The villagers butchered and cooked a goat for us for supper. This was a great sacrifice for them and we accepted it with a good feeling that we were appreciated. It was also a reminder to me of the poor widow in Mark 12:42-44 who gave, to the temple treasury, two copper coins. Jesus said “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all of the others. They (the rich people) gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything — all she had to live on.”  It makes me wonder if I could be that generous. After supper we had a chance to wander around and see some of the country side. 

Baie d'Orange from the top of the Mountain

Then it was off to bed.

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