I scurried about to getting my supplies together as I headed to the bus for adventure and wound up in scrubs.
A ride of about an hour and one half, half of which took our bus on a dirt road lead us to a really remote village where we set up shop to remove lots of hurting teeth. Our first and youngest patient turned out to be the most difficult needing 5 teeth extracted all over her mouth. She put up a fight but we helped her and an hour later she was back playing games outside. Kids are so resilient.
In all we saw 16 patients and removed 24 teeth in less than 4 hours. I was exhausted. My sense of having fun and laughing went undeterred teaching all the kids who spoke no English, only a tribal language, to put up 2 fingers, spread them and say, “Fight On” the cheer symbol for USC.
I took a well-deserved nap on the bus ride back.
We got a nice applause from the crew at dinner. Tomorrow will be long and hot. I think today was just a warm-up.
At dinner the waiter asked me if I could take out a tooth on his sister. (Is that instead of a tip?)
On our way we were. Hantz (my appointed assistant) and I were greeted by all the kids and set up shop to do our thing. We were in a small room, no electricity in the village and very humid and temperatures ran in the high 90’s. As I did my exams and extractions, Hantz was giving these beautiful, grateful kids new pairs of sneakers. Understand, new is an understatement for kids that have never had shoes. It is incredible to think this is possible. They live in huts with no water and forget electric. Life is fine for all these kids.
On to work. Today we saw 53 patients, 9 extractions and lots of exams in 4 1/2 hours. All the kids received coloring books, crayons and stickers.
One of my patients was an 18-year-old girl with her baby on her back. All the kids were very valiant and soft spoken.
The rest of the crew who spent the day handing out meals at another village picked us up and we were off to visit the Slave Castle in Cape Coast.