Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Perspective

Oh my gosh. I watched How I Met Your Mother on Monday and it was okay, funny but nothing earth shattering.
But after my wife went to bed I watched the TV show called Worst Week, I don't know when it comes on because I DVR everything (I think 9:30), and it was so funny.
I mean I was literally having one of those laughs that my mouth was open and nothing was coming out. I was falling off the couch. The next day my wife told me she could hear me laughing from across the house.
But so far I have not come across ANYONE that has seen the show.
I want to know if anyone else thought it was funny or was I just slap happy or something. I went on CBS.com and it appears that other people thought it was funny too.


I don't think the script is very good and I don't think it is acted particularly well but some of the stuff in there was so funny.
The Asian guy at the bird shop, when he yells at the parrot. I laughed and then rewinded it and laughed again...I am laughing again just thinking about it. And when the dog bring the dead bird back...man that was funny.


My wife only likes a couple of shows, we watch them together, The Unit and Chuck.


I started a new book and I can't remember the title. It is a book on the renewal of Rwanda.
So far so good.


Let's continue on the "Perspective"

Let me continue to tell you about Mexico.
Everyday we would wake up and have breakfast. We would take a bus ride (about an hour) to the center de jour.
All the people would be waiting for us. The kids running around having fun.

There would be individual rooms set up for their particular doctor. Dental chair set up in one room. Exam table set up in another. Optometry stuff set up in another room.
There is a make shift pharmacy.


One big thing that goes on is, when the optometrist is done telling his patient that they need glasses, there is an area that they can get glasses.
You know when you go to your eye doctors office and there is a recepticle for old glasses set up by the Lyons Club or something like that? Well these glasses go to this huge warehouse. Our people go to this place and pick out about 5000 pairs of glasses.



We take them on our trip and match the glasses to the prescription given to them.
It is a huge operation and they give glasses to about 200 people a day.


But the first day I got there, I showed you my room, I needed an assistant. Well I needed a couple. One kid to hold the light and another to hold the cheek. Hoping at least someone could help me with translation.
Well it turns out I had this high school age kid holding the light. He was 17 years old. They do high school differently than us so I don't know exactly what grade he was in. He didn't speak a lick of English but we would able to communite with hand motions and threw our interpretor.


The first day I joked around a lot with him and tried to make it fun for him. I mean for about 9 hours all he did was hold a light.
I would see a lot of kids and there chief complaint was they had a tooth loose. In most cases this a just a normal tooth coming out (exfoliating) and sometimes it feels weird to the kid and they think they are having a toothache. If they would have just waited a month it would come out on its own.
So this is when I would always ask this kid if he wanted to take the tooth out. Every time he would indicate that he was freaked out by it and didn't want to do it.
But the second day (here is my second day operatory) I show up to another clinic de jour and this kid was already setting up the room. I was pleasantly surprised. I mean this clinic was a one hour drive from yesterday's clinic. It became apparent that the leaders of the clinics asked for help and if you wanted to help they would pick you up and bring you to the clinic de jour. I mean it is something to do and you get two free meals out of it.
But this day our relationship was more about education. I got an interpreter who was young.

Here are some pictures. The one on the left is the kid Alberto who is the one I will talk about. The picture on the right is Alberto and my interpreter Poncho. He has Marfan's syndrome.
Marfan's syndrome was made famous by Abraham Lincoln, Andrea the Giant, and the former NBA star George Merashon.

So on the second day it was more of the same ribbing. But when I asked him if he wanted to take a tooth out he said, "YES".
I looked around for the Department of Health and it turns out they don't have a Mexican branch. So I deemed it okay.
I let the kid take out the tooth. I numbed up the little tooth and gave "Berto" the forceps. I took his hand and we did it together.
And by the end of the day he had taken out about 12 teeth. Let me tell you how much fun this kid had. I mean he was beaming.
So remember yesterday when I was talking about not being able to educate everyone. Well the second day I spent all my time educating "Berto" on what it takes to be a dentist.
Now I was thinking "Fill a man's tooth and help him for today, but teach a man to fill a tooth and help a community forever" (you know the saying).

So by the end of the third day this kid wanted to be a dentist. We exchanged email addresses and home addresses. I may have my first Mexican prodigy.

I haven't stopped thinking of the poverty I saw. I saw more desperation in three days than I have seen in my whole life.
You know I do this Dentistry from the Heart every year and there are for sure some sad stories and for sure there is some people that really have need.

But this problem was so wide spread.
Maybe I am with people with money in all aspects of my life. Work, church, the little league baseball field, everywhere there is people with money.
Even I go to the food shelter here in little old Apopka and the walls are stacked with food.
But when I go to Mexico (this was my second time) everything there rings out need.
Do I just not see it here in America?
I struggle with why God made me want to be a dentist. What can I do for the kingdom?
How can I clothe the naked? How can I feed the hungry?
Is it by doing what I am doing? I keep thinking to myself that what I am doing is not enough.

I feel like when I do this thing in Mexico I am throwing stones in the ocean (it is not really doing anything).
There is this story...A man is walking down the beach and during the night there was a red tide (or something like that) and it washed up millions and millions of star fish.
Now the guy is walking and every ten steps or so he bends down and picks up a star fish and whips it back into the ocean. Well after doing this for awhile he walks by a man and the man says, "why are you doing that? There are so many it is not even going to matter."
And the man replied as he threw another one in..."Well it mattered to that one."

So this is how I kind of got through the day, when I started thinking of the extent of the need.

I will stop here....for now.

I don't know if I can blog on Friday. I am going to Chicago on Friday and Saturday for an AGD joint council meeting. Then back home to run 18 miles before church.

There is a Cubs game tomorrow night that I am trying to get tickets to. If anyone can help...that would be cool.
Oh, by the by, I hit 190 on the scale yesterday. Now it could be just have been a low spike. But the bet was for the first one to hit their weight. Now the second part of the bet was to see if the winner can keep it off for two more weeks.
But this week I am running a lot so...it is looking good.
Marathon in 3 and a half weeks.

Maybe talk to you Friday
john

2 comments:

Mary said...

The first episode the week before of Worst Week was (amazingly) even funnier. You've got to get a hold of it. Same thing happened to me. I hardly ever laugh hysterically at shows, but I could NOT breathe. Matt came out of his room with this strange look on his face because I was laughing so much. I had to pause it many times just to "recover." Such a funny show! With all the craziness in the world, it's great to really laugh at sillyness!

Anonymous said...

Worst Week is hilarious, but I don't know how long this show will last. Can things really go this bad all the time???? By the way, I have been reading your blog and you mentioned how one sided 90.7FM is, but I think I have your answer....try 580AM WDBO. It is so much better. I used to listen to 90.7 but now all I listen to is 580AM WDBO for my drive to work and on the way home.

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