Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Dentist visits Vanuatu!

      Dental health is one major concern here in Vanuatu!  Many people are missing teeth - sometimes all of their teeth.  For two weeks we have had the pleasure of having the Roth's with us.  They are serving a full time dental mission in Samoa.  Apparently, the church has three full time dental clinics world wide - one is in Guatemala, one in Tonga, and one in Samoa.
       Dr. Roth and his wife met at dental school in Portland, Oregon.  That is where Dr. Roth joined the church.  They are very dedicated.  Several times a year they pack up all of their equipment and head to other island countries.  We could use dental help much more often than two weeks a year    Any volunteers, Steve?!
      This is the 'waiting room'.  They lined up outside the 'office'.  The office is set up in the Family History Office.  I wish that I had a picture from the next day. Word spread quickly, and there were over forty people the next morning.  Each person filled out a dental request form, and they waited their turn. 
      Obviously, it is impossible to see everyone.  After the first week, it was clear that we needed  to restrict it to only prospective missionaries and those in pain.

       Dr. Roth and Marie Joe - she had a very badly abscessed tooth.  Many of the members that were seen could only have teeth removed.  They had let the problems get so very bad.  Now we know why so many of the people are missing teeth.  When it gets unbelievably painful, they get the tooth pulled.
      This is Annie as the dental assistant.  She is the Port Vila District Primary President.  She is also the organist/pianist in Branch 2.  She is going to computer software school.  She has three teenage children.  Even with all of this, Annie served in the dental office for the whole two weeks.  She was there early and had everything set up.  She was there late and cleaned everything up.  Annie is amazing.  She is very bright and picked up on things so quickly. We are very impressed with her dedication and determination.

      Sister Bennion promoted herself to Dental Receptionist.  She greeted everyone and helped them fill out the form.  She had the very hectic job of keeping everything as orderly as possible.  Usually Sister Bennion is in charge of the Church Distribution Office here at the branch building.  After five hectic days, she quit.  Enough hassle! 
      Leku, the Seminary and Institute secretary, took a turn for one day.  Then it was my turn the last two days.  It was like old times, Uncle Ted!!!


  1. Take care of your pearly whites. You have to wait six more months now if you lose a filling. Sheesh.

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