putting it off for over two years I've finally managed to make
an appointment to the dentist. Yesterday I was eating a Mars bar
and I was surprised to find something hard and crunchy in it.
After I finished it I noticed that there was something different
about my mouth- then I discovered that the crunchy "thing"
was actually part of one of my upper teeth. Later in the evening
we were visited by a nun from the Coptic orthodox church- we were
helping her with some computer work- anyway, she has an uncle
who is a dentist who will treat me for a reasonable price so I
arranged to see him this morning.
childhood memories of the dentist aren't good- the combination
of a sweet tooth and being too lazy to clean my teeth at night
took its toll. I have a lot of fillings and without exception
the treatment for each of them was painful. I'm quite proud of
the fact that while I was a student I never visited the dentist
in over 5 years!
introduced myself to the dentist, he spoke good English and seemed
to be competent you can't guarantee these things in Egypt. After
looking at my teeth he explained the nature of the problem. I
could tell that most of his English vocabulary came from reading
medical text books- in simple English he told me that the tooth
in question actually had a large filling already and the enamel
walls were quite thin. The tooth needed a temporary filling, then
a visit next week to see about getting a crown fitted. But there
were more problems . . .
two back molars are decaying and hence they both need larger fillings
too, and after that the upper wisdom teeth need extracting sometime
too, then the lower wisdom teeth probably need to be pulled too
after a while. So, my mouth is a complete medical project for
a dentist! He asked about giving the temporary filling there and
then. Whilst he went into details about what he would do I stopped
him in mid-sentence and asked him - "All I want to know is
this: is it going to hurt?" He assured me that it wouldn't.
I guess that it was a stupid question because he's hardly likely
to say, "Yes, it's going to be unbearable". Anyway,
I wasn't going to believe him no matter due to simple logic: 1)
Dentists lie when they say it won't hurt 2) Egyptians lie anyway;
therefore this Egyptian dentist must be lying.
not sure how he did it but despite two injections and excessive
drilling I hardly felt a thing and I had to review my logic reasoning.
I have the feeling that I'm going to see a lot of this guy so
I'd better start to trust him, or maybe I'll be proved right later
. . .
week I went back to the City of Peace where there is the school
project with the street children. I was asked to do take a two-hour
teaching session. At the end of the session I decided to make
them all animal balloon models, I took a couple of helpers without
whom I wouldn't have been able to make all 70 models in a reasonable
is surprising how excited the children became at the thought of
receiving a simple balloon model. The excitement grew as we made
cats, dogs, mosquitoes, poodles, camels, horses, giraffes, mice,
tigers, rabbits, parrots and flowers! The teachers had a task
to keep control as we started to give them out. The person in
charge apologised for the disorder afterwards but I didn't find
it a problem. These poor kids get hardly anything- they only get
three decent meals a week because that's what the school project
supplies so the thought of getting a present made it into a special
occasion- It's difficult to imagine children in Britain reacting
with the same level of enthusiasm.
one thing to give Bible stories but it's another thing to show
care and attention to the child's other needs- in a small way
the models gave the children a sense of personal worth because
it was a personal gift to them that was individually made.
heard more about the background of these children which I can't
tell you about right now. Some of them are real sad cases, but
the more I hear the more time I want to spend with them.
all till next time,
Alison, Hannah and Esther
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