Friday, March 23, 2012
Urubamba: day 4
Our last day of work is done! There was a little girl that had a mouth full of completely bombed out teeth. She was 8 and mom got chewed out a bit because she just let's this little girl eat candy like its going out of style. She needed to lose all of her molders but then she wouldn't be able to eat. The doctors collaborated and decided that they would only take out the two adult molars and pray for the best. What an experience it was taking her teeth out! She totally freaked out and ultimately we had to take her off the table to calm down and it took forever because she would start hyperventilating and spaz out. To be fair that is how I feel when I go to the dentist so I do understand that it is a scary thing, but she had puss oozing from her gums and her teeth really needed to be taken out. So I was one of the 2 people holding her hands, someone else was speaking to her helping her breathe normally, and a 4th holding her legs still. Everything ended up fine and hopefully she won't forget what it felt like and she will start taking care of her teeth. The neat thing is that a local Peruvian dentist was working with us today and she spoke with the little girl and her mother. Hopefully they will listen to her and see the importance of dental hygiene. It is fascinating here. One of the teachers told us how much he appreciated us coming because we are addressing the issue of dental care. He said that he was never taught the importance of caring for your teeth and he has bad teeth because of it but that it has only started to be taught in the last 25 years, but it is a slow process. If the parents were never taught they may not value the importance of it and they won't teach their children and the cycle will just continue to spiral. One of the most special experiences we have had while here happened at the end of the school day. The entire school, teachers and students, lined up outside and thanked us for our work. It was so touching and I am tearing up again while typing this. Then each individual student came through and thanked us individually. It was amazing! We ended the day by going to one of our translators homes. What a "cultural" experience that was. His home was amazing and so not typical of a north American property. He took us on a tour through his backyard where he roasts his own coffee and his brother does steel work. During the tour I look up and see a human head in a cabinet. Yes folks a real human head, no eyes, a full head of gray stringy hair and his mouth with teeth wide open. We asked Jorge about it and he told us that it was his wife's grandfather. No he wasn't joking. He was quite proud that they had her grandfather watching over them. We are waking up at 4:15am tomorrow to start our matchu picchu experience. What a great trip!