Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I won today!

My green troops trampled everyone elses. It felt so nice to be able to control something.
Natali died 4 days ago so I have removed the photos I had posted earlier of her teeth.
It will do her no good now.
Found another dieing woman on a platform today and rushed her to Kalighat. Said a rosary for her while in bad traffic on the way. Sister admitted her and she was still alive when I left.
A thought struck me that I was perhaps the only person in the world that had directly prayed for this one womans soul.
I felt useful.
Thank you God!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


It has been over 40 degrees Celsius in Calcutta for the past 3 days, that would be 104 Fahrenheit.
That isn't just a high that is the norm. It reaches 100 F by 10 am and cools back down to 93 by 8pm.

It is 7:48 right now as I write and the temperature in the room is 96 F.

Two days ago everyone was talking about how we broke the heat record that was held for the last 10 years, though I never got the numbers. Bother that.
Anyways I think you get that it is HOT here.

That being said I will tell you about something nice.
The game of RISK.

An Australian, named Mark, and I went in 50/50 and bought it
yesterday when walking home from work.

A Hollander named Axel killed my green troops,
Mark's blue troops,
and, a Swedish, Dilan's yellow troops,
by rolling consistent 6's and trampling us under his red troops.

I was so disappointed.

I must conquer the world!

Pray for me.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Ok, soooo, here is what I know. I know that Dentists don't normally do any extractions when there are such bad infections. First they give the antibiotics to clear up the infection, during which time they have the patient clean their own mouth as best as possible etc. But I don't know if any of that really applies here. Perhaps the infection is simply too much for a simple antibiotic, perhaps she is too weak to heal from the trauma of extractions even if the infection does clear up.

This woman weighs about 70lbs, cannot eat, is not on an IV to keep her fluids up, and can barely drink because of the pain. She goes into a comma like state at least once a week and must be spoon fed water through out the day. Our resident nurse says that the only other thing that is really wrong with her is her dry skin so if she heals in her mouth then maybe... she'll live a bit longer and be able to enjoy something before she dies. Her name is Natali. She is so kind.

Yucky Photos below!!!!

I couldn't get enough light to take photos of the rear molars, though she really only has 4 teeth back there anyways, and all of them are extremely loose.

Please send these to Uncle John and get his advise, also Dr. Dahl I more than welcome your advise! Thank you so much for your help.


Nice photo: Do you see Puja? She is the one with a brilliant smile who is off to the right. I might tell her story another day.

Please send all donations of dental products to:

Havilah Volunteer
Missionaries of Charity
54/A A.J.C. Bose Road
Kolkata, India
700 016

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

It's Like Pulling Teeth

Yesterday, I sat with a woman who was dieing in Prem Dan. She had a mouth full of extreme infections, and rotten teeth. (The day before she was able to sit up with my help, but when I tried to feed her, even the softest rice, she was unable to eat it because of the extreme pain in her mouth.) I find it so disheartening that there are, as far as I am able to ascertain from 'Sister In Charge', NEVER dentists that volunteer in Kolkata with the Missionaries of Charity.
The people NEED them so much here, they Need tooth brushes to be donated, and they Need education. But there is NO ONE here.

So, I have volunteered to pull teeth. I have never done this before, only seen it done when I worked with Dr. Smith, for 6 months, as an assistant in his clinic. Yet if the 'Sister In Charge approves of my offer then I will do it.

I know what you are thinking. You need not say that I am unqualified or that I might do more harm than good, because I know these things already.

What I need you to tell me is the names of the antibiotics which are most effective on oral infections. I need you to help me to get the proper instruments, and a good book on what to do if an extraction goes wron. I need information about the different types of oral infections, and how best to treat them. I know there must be thousands, but I need to know more about what I see.
I will not be slicing or attempting anything fancy, but when I see that a patients gums have receded so far that I am already able to see the tops of the roots, then I will give them the opportunity to have that tooth pulled.

So they can eat, so they can live.

Unlike my friend who died today.

Dear Family,
Please ask Uncle John if he can send me the proper instruments and anything else that will help me.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Money, money, money, Money...MOh...NEY!

Who likes getting Traveller's Diarrhea?
I do!
Wanna know why?
Of course you do!

Well, you see Optimer Pharmecuticals, Inc., is sponsoring a study on the effectivness of a new antibiotic, on foreigners here in Kolkata, who get diarrhea. In affect they are paying me for my... while asking me to keep a journal about my 'movements', and not telling me if what I am taking is either the drug or the placebo.

(Isn't that a cool word, Placebo!)

He he he , I will be paid up to the equivelant of 50 Euro, (aka: 78.72 USD, or 3,139.67 Rupees) for each scheduled visit I complete with the doctor.

Now who do you think is enjoying their Diarrhea?

I am!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Poorva Express

I arrived safely into New Delhi yesterday morning and changed my last 19 dollars in cash into 700 rupees while still at teh airport. The dollar is dropping...
Took a pre-paid taxi for 250 from airport to Main Bazaar and found a room for the night for 200. As it was only 9 am by that time I walked to the train station and ended up buying a ticket for the next train headed to Howra station, in Kolkata. Had the option of paying 1000 rupees more and going in 3AC on an express which arrived after only 14 hrs or slumin' it in regular sleeper for only 434, and arriving in Kolkata after 26 hrs on the train. Took the cheaper ticket.
After which I went back to the hotel set my alarm clock and slept for a few hours. I hadn't slept at all during either of my flights or the lay over in Bahrain. Woke up with an hour till departure, stuffed my thgings in my bag and went out to find provisions for the long train ride. Got some 5 rupee packaged cookies and a big bottle of water and headed to the station with my bags. Noticed that I had missed my train before I even got into the station because the clock on the station was NOt set the same as my alarm. I had forgotten about the extra 1/2 hour change between France and India. I had remembered the 4 hour part. I swear to God I am telling the truth!
Missed the Poorva Express, so I jumped on the next train... Was informed that my ticket for the other train was completely NON transferable to this train and that people who had no ticket were subject to a 3000 rupee fine and still responsible for paying for a ticket for that train. The food man told me this and asked me to wait in a seat until the Ticket man was able to get to me. Sat in the seat for 2 hours or so, met the nice Muslim gentlemen, from Bangledesh, who sat accross from and next to me. Was fed twice for free and thoroughly enjopyed being in an airconditioned car. When the Ticket man came I explained that I had missed my train and that I thought that I could buy a ticke on this one when I was ion it. He said No. I was told that unless I payed the fine...blah blah blah blah... I was going to be kicked off at the next station.
Got kicked off at the next station. :0 at almost midnight in a small staion where there were NO foreigners, let alone single white female foreigners, aside from myself I sat and waited for the train I had missed to catch up to the train I hadn't payed for. Caught my train about an hour later, but was informed that since I had not shown in New Delhi my bunk had been resold to a different passenger.
Slept on the floor of the train in between two bunks and was molested by at least 2 different men, who at different times in the night, carresed my face while I was sleeping. Screamed at both of them and went back to sleep with my head under the little fold out table...
Arrived safely into Kolkata, was warmly greeted by my old friends at the Salvation Army and checked into the girls dorm. Had a Naan and some sliced tomatoes and headed to the internet.
Updated blog.

Love is Good!