Wednesday, February 18, 2015 – Dental Clinic continues…

Today will be our last day of clinic in the Sopa area.  There is always more need than we can ever supply but we are doing all we can.



Time for a lunch break


I met with the community leaders to plan our next few capital projects


Visiting a water project to see how it can be expanded. There is plenty of water in this area


In the evenings the students eagerly listen to Massai stories from Juma


Mika continues to shop and help improve the economy


We will begin a 2 day R and R tomorrow with traveling included!

February 17, 2015

 By: Leanne Grinde

First day of clinic in Sopa.  This is the very first time that many have seen a dentist!  We saw a total of 33 patients today.  Charlene assisted me today.  I did 8 exos and 3 fillings.  The fillings end up being the hardest because they take so long, and we only have a Glass Ionomer material to fill with.  Stephanie had a screamer.  Apparently he was just angry about everything: the bite block, the needle, the rubber dam, etc.  For the most part, kids here are very stoic and try not to show when they are feeling pain.  It seems to be part of the Maasai culture to not show pain.  If you show pain, you are a “coward.”  So much different than many of the kids at home, who start crying when you put a mirror in their mouth.  Mika did 13 exos today, which is amazing!  I learned some interesting things today.  The very last patient of the day had a lower wisdom tooth that needed to be extracted.  I thought that it would be fairly easy, and told her I had time to take her.  Dr. Hill came over to me and said, “Beware the tooth that stands alone.”  This 38 was indeed alone with no teeth beside it.  It was the survivor, when the other teeth living in the same area had given up.  It was not going to let go easily.  Not to mention that the bone adjacent to it had undergone resorption, which gave me no purchase point.  I worked at it for a while, trying to elevate and luxate, with minimal success.  Finally Dr. Hill came over and gave it a try.  The decision was made to section it, which made me happy because it meant more cool clinical experience for me.  I sectioned most of the way down.  It was difficult though because our deliver unit only gave so much power.  When the surgical suction was on, the surgical handpiece would only run at less than 1/2 speed.  So the only real option was drill with no suction.  This is extremely difficult because water and blood accumulates in the mouth and you can’t see what you are doing.  Finally, Dr. Hill came and finished off the procedure.  He drilled a little bit more and then fractured the remnant tooth apart.  Then he elevated the distal half of the tooth out, then the mesial.  However, the distal root had fractured in the socket and was tightly wedged there.  It was angulated almost horizontal into the ramus of the mandible.  It took Dr. Hill a little while but he finally got it out.  Beware the tooth that stands alone.  


Lenni was busy running all day.  The 3 most common words you hear in the clinic are “Fungua!” (open), “Funga!” (close), and “Lenni!”  Without her, clinic would be FAR less efficient and organized.  She has been keeping track of all of the supplies.  Unfortunately, we only have 12 surgical suctions left.  We are running out of gloves and gauze.  Tomorrow is our last day of clinic, so we should last but it’ll be close.

We went to the Maasai Market which takes place every Tuesday.  It was very interesting.  People were scattered around under little huts selling their wares.  Many had vegetables, cabbage, beans (which the Maasai have only recently incorporated into their diets), some had Maasai blankets, there were even bottles of water and candy.  Cows, goats, and dogs lazily wandered and grazed the grass in between vendors.  Many of the clothing that the Maasai were selling are red.  We learned that the Maasai in Kenya like red and the Maasai in Tanzania like blue.

When we came back to camp, Mika and I heard a bunch of noise from a cattle drive.  We wanted to see the Maasai herding what sounded like thousands of cows.  Excitedly we went back to the tents to get our cameras and ran to the road where the cattle drive was taking place, recruiting Juhoon along the way.  We arrived at the tail end and took some pictures of the cattle and of the Maasai who were chasing them.  Scott and on of the Maasai who works at our camp showed up behind us.  Apparently Scott heard us looking for our cameras and running down the road.  He thought that maybe we were chasing a lion or leopard.  Unfortunately for him they were just cows.  He was quite disappointed that he had run all that way.  

Juhoon and Scott walked back to camp, while Mika and I kept walking along the road.  Lea, the Maasai who helped Scott find us, came with us.  He showed us the Acacia sticks that they use as toothbrushes (which actually work surprisingly well!).  Then we met with some of the other Maasai at the camp and played some card games.  We tried to show them how to play dutch blitz, but they didn’t seem to catch on very well.  Then they showed us a game.  One of them gave Mika his club, which was made out of Olive Wood?.  

We ended the night with supper and stories from Juma.