Monday, March 24, 2008

Dentist Trip - MAF style

Rachel has had a nasty abscess on her gum for a few weeks. After a course of antibiotics, the abscess hadn’t healed up so a trip to the dentist is in order. There is a national dentist in Mt Hagen, however we were told that he does not have equipment to do x-rays, and more often than not he lacks basic equipment. We were advised to go to a Mission station at a place called Ukarumpa. Fortunately, three other MAF families from Mt Hagen also needed to go to the dentist, so we charted a plane and flew out.

We were up early, and at the airport by 6.30. We had a fantastic flight in the little Cessna 206, it was such a beautiful morning. We arrived at Ukarumpa in time for our appointments by 8.30am. Ukarumpa is a SIL mission station, with its own school for ex-pat mission children (both day students and boarders), hospital and dentist. Apparently it is the largest Christian Mission Station of its kind in the world. It is used as a base for mission families who are translating the bible in remote parts of PNG.

Poor Rachel had two teeth pulled out. They were both babies and both had bad infection in the roots. We had a lovely gentle American missionary dentist who took x-rays, and talked us through the whole thing. Rachel was very brave, and coped okay with the three injections, and two extraction's...although she is exhausted tonight and she will never again believe her mothers promise of ‘it wont even hurt!”

We were all finished at the dentist by 10am, but the three other MAF people who were with us all had appointments as well (including our pilot!) So we walked around the town for a few hours, and had fun doing some shopping in the mission supermarket (that had lots of fun American products that cant be found in any other part of PNG...marshmallows, chocolate chips, corn chips - you know, the essentials :)

We took off at 3.30, and almost had to turn back due to a fantastic storm, but Geoff (our pilot) was able to get ahead of it to get us home safe and sound by 4.30.
And that was our trip to the dentist.


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