Dentistry ala Africa

What do you do when a crown falls off and you live in Gamboula which is a long day’s drive from the nearest dentist?   I made an appointment, thankfully conveniently coinciding with our next big trip to the big city.  I tucked that crown away in a safe place and I took extra good care of that empty tooth base in my mouth – chewing on the other side and brushing more often than usual.  The time drew near for the trip, and, wait a minute!  Where did I safely stow that crown???   I know I put it in a baggie.  I thought I put it in my purse.  After an hour’s search, the lost was found, safely hidden in my backpack.  At least it wasn’t in the fridge (where I confess I have looked for keys before) or in the pantry (where I once found a bag full of freshly picked green beans not so fresh anymore)!

I showed up at the dentist’s office, crown in hand, and only waited a short time before I was in the chair, rinsing and spitting and then after not too long, grinding down to test the seating of the crown.  Hooray!   Success!

When I sat down with Dr. Pare to pay the bill, she asked me about insurance.  When I mentioned that the total to pay wasn’t worth it, since we hadn’t even succeeded in getting insurance back from when she worked on Roy a couple of years back … a light went on on her face.  She hadn’t understood that Roy was my husband, and she has treated him many times including one ordeal in which Roy had way too many hours over Christmas in her chair.  Then, when I went on to tell her that the Kim & Jan Cone (who have visited her office many times) were my son’s in-laws, she said “oh, you’re family you don’t need to pay” and I didn’t pay any more than the walk-in consultation fee.

My mouth is back in full working order, but I think I’ll give up chewing gum!!!  (o;

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About danforth

As Covenant missionaries, we are working with all the tribal groups of the Central African Republic (CAR) but are trying to give special attention to the Fulani, a Musxlim, cattle herding, and semi-nomadic people group. We live on an experimental/training farm, near a mission station which has a hospital plus bible and nursing schools. We are establishing relationships with the local people groups through compassion ministries; Roy through agriculture and Aleta through public health and visitation, in order, ultimately, to share the good news of Jesus the Messiah with them. CAR is one of the least developed countries in the world and is currently in continual crisis (since the coup in March 2013), so reaching out in compassion is key to reaching their hearts. Due to the ongoing conflict and resultant ethnic cleansing in CAR, we are crossing the border to interact with our Fulani contacts.
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