Greenwood Dentist

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Greenwood Dentist
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India 2017 #5 Arrival in Damoh 10-3-17 fb.me/1JfNW8D37

Harty and Wilson DDS published a note.
India 2017 #5 Arrival in Damoh 10-3-17
Good evening, I write to you from our room in Damoh, India at the home of Ajai and Indu Lall. They are the missionaries we work with that started Central India Christian Mission. I have not said too much about who we are with until I spoke with Ajai to see if there was any risk to them. Under the laws of cracking down on terrorism, the new government here has really limited Christian missions and even made some shut down, and I was unsure how open I should be in naming them. I am telling you that when you convert from Hindu or Muslim to Christian you are literally risking your life to do so. Many are ostracized by their families and never allowed to see their loved ones again – even attending their parent’s funerals! And this does not count the death and torture some of the pastors have faced. I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that here, 10,000 miles away from Las Vegas, the Indian people are mourning for those involved in the massacre there, and for Deb and my hearts as well. It goes to show you how what happens in the US matters in the rest of the world. And I don’t mind sharing that the loss of Tom Petty hurt quite a bit too. Ajai told me that over 12,000 people in his churches that are dedicated to praying are currently in prayers for our brothers and sisters in Las Vegas. It is humbling to know the love these people have for us, and care for our country. When he told me how these 12,000 prayed and fasted in shifts continuously, I asked if I could add a few people to the prayer list as well. So for Peter and Maureen, you are loved and being held in loving hands. There are several people in my dental practice whose first names I shared as well, and please know that it is their privilege to pray for you. And for several who are having tough times, it is their honor to fast for your lives. As he told me how it worked, I wept knowing that when he says these things they are not just words – it is the real thing. I am finally totally exhausted so will try not to write too long because I am falling asleep as I write – but it was another terrific day. We rode the night train from Agra to Damoh. But as we waited for the train to come we stood on the train platform observing all that was going on around us, which is one of my favorites activates. One shares the platform at night with people bedding down to sleep, teenagers eyeing our stuff – and me eyeing them back as if daring them to try something (they want easy targets and not someone who is aware and might make trouble for them). There are dogs, cows and monkeys looking for food, or walking around or just standing with us, like they are waiting for the train as well. In fact, we saw a monkey drop down from the ceiling take a banana from a woman’s hand, wolf it down and grab a little purse, open it and feel around inside finding something else to ear – all the while the woman trying to shoo it away, but it did not care and they can be aggressive so she gave up on it. After the train arrived we were in for about 8 hours ride ahead of us, and there is nothing like sleeping on and Indian train – that rocking back and forth is enough to almost knock me out before we leave the station. However, I tend to be hyper vigilant when I travel, especially if Deb or loved ones are with me. So I sleep fairly well, but lightly, and am awake and alert in a nanosecond, but still got a little bit of sleep. And Deb was able to sleep a little as well. We had breakfast and devotions, which went well, and then were off to meetings. Deb was able to observe in a classroom how they taught. In India so much is demanded of the students that they struggle sometimes to keep up. They are start printing their name in 3 yo class, and can write their names in cursive in kindergarten, and also are doing multiplication tables (and Deb says they can memorize anything but do not understand at that age the what it really means). Then she met with teachers later in the day and they had all kinds of questions. Deb was not sure she helped or answered any of their questions, but Lashi, (Ajai and Indu’s daughter and head of the school there), said the teachers wanted to meet more with her to ask more questions. So I think it was much more successful than she thought. We were also able to visit the Children’s Home (not “orphanage,” because that sounds similar to the Hindi word for “without God” which they are anything but). We also heard horrible stories of babies being left in the garbage, at the train station (super filthy), on the front door, as well as 2 and 3 yo who have been traumatized by rape, beatings, and watching their mothers murdered. I am too tired and emotional to get into that tonight. Speaking of trauma, I told Indu of my shame of gagging while trying to pray for the man that smelled so bad with Hansen’s disease. She told me not to think anything about it because she understood. She then told Debbie of how her father as a young boy saw Lepers take their own lives by stepping in front of trains, and witnessed people that were so afraid of getting leprosy that they poured kerosene on the bodies and set them on fire burning them into ash. Her father dedicated his life to helping those with Hansen’s disease. He went to medical school and did his surgical training in England and returned to India as a plastic surgeon and did, in fact, spend his life doing reconstructive work to bring comfort to the lepers. She said that he trained her, when she was young, how to clean and bandage their sores and wounds because he sometimes could not get nurses to do it, and she said the smell, the maggots and sight of the sores gave her nightmares that her fingers and her nose had gone away. And as she told us that you could see in her eyes her reliving it and the fear she had, yet she continued to help them. Do you understand the kind of people I work with here? Do you understand how humbled we re to even be in their presence? Finally, we went to a village tonight to see a coaching program they have for kids in school. The kids in these villages are not being adequately prepared and to have any kind of chance to get into school, they must have additional education, so CICM has 3 of these Coaching classes that just started and already of all together about 300 or more students from kindergarten through 8th grade and they are doing amazing things in the three hours after school that they come there. As we drove off the main road, onto a really bad dirt road, the sun was setting, and the air was cooling slightly, and the sounds of the rural farm life was what India should feel like. As we climbed the concrete stairs, we could hear the students reciting their lessons in English, and the late light on these sweet little faces was as tender as it gets. Watching my wife sit down at the front of the class and watch her face and her smile as one 1st grade student after another would stand up and recite a lesson for her, or sing a song made her smile so bright it was as if the sun stopped setting for a moment and got brighter instead. I love this stuff, Doug


India 2017 #6 Hindu Temple 10-4-17 fb.me/1m1cFioKN

Harty and Wilson DDS published a note.
India 2017 #6 Hindu Temple 10-4-17
Dr Anu said, “Sir, I have something I want you to see.” The patient approached, as the fans blew and the crowd noise droned on. We Namaste each other (when you put your hands together palm to palm in the Hindu fashion, and he laid back in the chair. I adjusted my headlamp, peered into his mouth and she said, “Do you see it sir? It is right there!” Yes, I saw it – a squamous cell carcinoma from just inside his front lip to the under his tongue. I could the firmness of it on both sides, and then when I felt under his chin he said that he was having trouble eating. When I told Dr Anu what it was and I had no question in my mind that is what it was, she sat down and said she didn’t feel well. It was her first case with a patient having cancer. She wanted to do something, anything and it was so sweet of her. I had to be careful not to just grab her and hug her, as men and women do not touch like that. So we talked about sending him to the hospital, giving him vitamins, antibiotics (not that they would do anything, but she was desperate to give him everything she could think of), and “pain killers” (as they call ibuprofen). She asked if I thought anything would help him, but she knew the answer. I told her that he was already dead, it was just a matter of how long it took to be official (you have to know your audience when you tell someone that bluntly, but I know her and she needed some bluntness). She said she couldn’t tell him, and I told her that is why I am here, but she talked to the son. They are very poor and he could not take him to the hospital. It would make no difference anyway. After I left, we talked it through and prayed. I was so glad I was there for her today, to help her through this one – the first one is always the toughest. That is the kind of day I had, and it was epic – and I don’t say that very often. It was epic because we were holding a dental clinic inside, yes, inside a famous Hindu temples (I was told Bollywood people come to get married there). Hindu extremists in the area we excited about us coming, and this is a first in the 35 years CICM has been operating. In fact, they were excited to show me their gods and explain how they practice (and we were also told they thought they might convert us – Deb and I). You see, Hindu extremists hate Christians to the point of persecuting (and I mean this in the biblical sense) and murder Pastors and other Christians. We saw 256 patients today – yes, I am beat about 10 different ways and just had a massage to help me recover. That is like 40 patients an hour, but a lot were “drive bys” and some wanted to see the doc, and Dr Anu and I did the rest. I think got about 60 teeth or more (I don’t count because I am too competitive – it’s quality time not quantity). Debbie, Dr Indu, and Dr Jill passed out meals, and fed all of the patients and those inside the temple. Ajai told me last night that we were going to love them like we are called to do, so that they can see that Christians don’t hate them, and they have no reason to hate us. As I write this, it seems trite, but this is very life and death stuff. It was easy to see it was a huge success as all of our handlers, helpers and nursing students were on cloud 9 afterwards. And it was a boatload of patients. I wanted Dr Anu to do some of the extractions, but she said that they wanted to see the American Dr. – that is why they are here. Ajai told me that was the only way they were able to get inside of the temple to hold a clinic, was because they promised I would be there – as immodest as that sounds, you should be in my shoes. About the last thing I think of is that I am a big draw, but have learned that they know how far Americans have come and have a lot of respect for us – but this entire country is about respect and honor. Oh, and I had two patients that I gave anesthetic and asked them to wait while they got numb. I saw them over there messing with the root tips and teeth, but people do that to see how numb they really are. Both, hours apart came back to the chair with part of the tooth, or one of the root tips in their hands and said that they didn’t want me to do anything else. I assured them that it was only part and they would be in a mess of hurt when they lost the anesthetic, to no avail – so for about 4 hours I was the best dentist on the planet. The people helping and Dr Anu were starving by the time we took a 15 min lunch break, and apparently they were all waiting for me to call the time. But I cannot eat in front of patients who have been waiting all day to see us and not eaten (I didn’t know we were feeding them, at the time). Sanjay finally caught on and closed the door and shut the windows so we could eat in private. I have known him for a while and he is rather excitable. He wanted to hear everything about the Leper Colony and he said they are talking in the hospital about it because no one, not even doctors want to be around them. And he became choked up when he said that when they beg every morning (which is what most Hansen’s patients do). They just cannot beg for money or food, they have to beg for already cooked food because they no fingers to prepare the food to eat. My last two patients were Hindu Priests who preform ceremonies in the Temple, and one was our guide who showed us around the temple. One knows this because they have the dots on their heads but also other paint on their foreheads. When we finished with our guide, he asked me to pray for him to my God so that his English would get better. He told me he knew this God we have is powerful, because he had been praying for skills in English since he was little. When he was 15 yo he had a vision in which he saw Jesus and Jesus told him he would have this ability, and he has since. I told him I would, and he could too, but he said he worships too many other gods and knows ours does not approve. After a quick theological discussion he was a priest and that was his job and could not give it up. The implication was that he would be killed if he converted. I assured him I would pray for him. He smiled, we Namaste each other, and got into the car to come home, sore, exhausted and I am still popping with Joy! Yeah, it was an epic day… and I am epic bushed so I am winding it down.


India 2017 #4, the Taj Mahal 10-2-17 fb.me/9ISpm2cAI

Harty and Wilson DDS published a note.
India 2017 #4, the Taj Mahal 10-2-17
Hey folks, He loved her so much, it is said that his hair turned white overnight upon news of her death. Out of all of his harem, she was his favorite wife, and tended to state business (our guide said, “He had a very large harem so he was very busy could not do a lot of things!” With 20,000 workers brought in from Persia (modern day Iran), working literally 24/7, it was completed after 22 years. The day after the dedication, he asked the architect if he could build him one more building even more beautiful. When the architect said he could give him one more building more beautiful than this one, the Shah ordered the hands of the architect to be cut off so nothing more beautiful could ever be built. He then told the 20,000 workers that they may return to home, but they must leave their hands behind if they did. He lived the last eight years of his life imprisoned by his grandson, but mercifully, in a place from which he could see her mausoleum. And when near death, too weak to get up to view his wife’s final resting place, his daughter had a mirror made so that The Emperor Shah Jahan could see in his final hours, his last sight was the Taj Mahal. I believe it is one of the greatest love stories ever known (and yes, a bit twisted). This morning, Deb and I got up to see the Taj Mahal at sunrise, or close to it as it turned out. But today is Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday after two days of Hindu and Muslim holy days (a long weekend of national holidays) so security checkpoints were overwhelmed. However, we were there early enough to see the colors change on the most beautiful building in the world. And it is an architectural wonder. Never the less, Deb, as everyone says the first time they see it finally said to me, “I can’t believe I am looking at the Taj Mahal!” Another one of those dreams make come to life. The marble that it is made of is the hardest marble known and very difficult to work with, and was inlaid with precious gems, emeralds, topaz, etc, that have been since looted, but the now with semi precious gems and they sparkle in the sun. The marble itself is somewhat a translucent white color so that it glows, and it changes colors with the light. At night, under the full moon become a light on its own due to the blue shade of the light of the moon penetrating the marble slightly and then bouncing it back, as if it holds the light for a moment before releasing it (this is the same with teeth, by the way – you knew there had to be a dental element in this). The entire grounds are completely, totally, symmetrical, and I mean absolutely so completely symmetrical it is bizarre. And everything is centered on his beloved’s tomb. The Taj Mahal has a central dome surrounded by 4 smaller domes and even from afar, if you are say 3 or 4 degrees off of center to the right, the smaller dome on the right looks quite a bit closer, like no question it is closer, but it is not (pictures to follow). Inside of the building has incredible carved marble panels of flowers, but on the other side it shows the other side of the flowers like you are viewing it from the back side (you can tell by the petals and the stems). The four minarets on the 4 corners of the Taj Mahal lean 5 degrees out ward so that if anything happens and they fall, they will not damage the building (they are not real minarets, as it is not a mosque, it is mausoleum). The minarets appear to be taller as you approach but are exactly the same height as the central dome. As you walk towards the building from the Central Gate, it appears to keep getting farther away, due to the optical illusion of having no building behind it. The only thing in the entire grounds that is not symmetrical is the Shah’s tomb. It is to the right of her tomb so that his heart is closest to her, and his crypt is tiny in comparison. I could go on and on, but pictures are so much better. One other thing, Deb got to see a working camel this morning, which kind of made her day! In just a few hours we take a night train to Damoh arriving at 5am and then devotions at 9, where I am usually asked to speak, and I look forward to it every year. What people do not realize is that medical care providers spend their lives taking care of others, and no one takes care of them. There is a reason for the adage, “Physician heal thyself…” and I always want to take time to address it for the docs and nursing students. It matters not if you are Christian, Hindu, Muslim or anything else, we all need to be heard and given permission to be heard. God help me, I love this country and its people. More tomorrow, Doug


India #3, trip to Agra Fort and Deb's great day 10-1-17 fb.me/1mUqDLQqr

Harty and Wilson DDS published a note.
India #3, trip to Agra Fort and Deb's great day 10-1-17
Hey to all, I write to you from our room in a ridiculously beautiful room at the Jaypee Palace (should google it, it is better that the pics) in Agra – the site of the Taj Mahal! There are definite perks to bringing ones wife along on these trips as our friends here want to make sure the wife has an extraordinary time. We head there at sunrise tomorrow. My bride is on the bed checking her phone, we just finished a beautiful walk under the nearly full moon stopping by a huge wedding festival of bright colors, lights and amazing music. I have my twizzlers, so all is well – I need to get a shout out to Dana Webb, who was kind enough to ship me a box of twizzlers just in time for the trip! Thanks Dana, they are amazing! We started out early to the train station in Delhi, and trains stations are always interesting. Beside the mass of people coming and going, there are groups of people sitting on the platform, it is loud, hot, brightly colored saris abound, and that is just the people. You will see cows, who are sacred, and they know it and go anywhere and do anything they want, monkeys, dogs of every description and all kinds of birds – if you are waiting on the platform for your train, you may be standing next to all of the above as you look to the right and left of you. We sat across from a couple from Bristol, England, and because I am traveling with my wife, somehow people cannot wait to talk to her. So we talked the whole 2 hours to Agra of family, where we live, politics (everyone wants to know what is going on), Brexit – it was just lovely. Checked into our hotel and went to the Agra Fort, one amazing place! Debbie had an epic day! At the Agra Fort (also known as the Red Fort for the color of the sandstone it is made of, or the Monkey Fort for its dominating inhabitants), a girl wanted a selfie with Deb – which Deb can’t understand why, and cracks me up, but blond hair, fair skin and beautiful is something everyone wants to enjoy. Besides that, it was 96 degrees and we were soaked to the bone, but she doesn’t sweat, she glistens, but that even confuse her more (“but I look like a drowned rat!!!”) Then, we went to the rug factory to see how they make these amazingly beautiful rugs and the guy trying to sell us told her she had “magic feet.” If that weren’t enough, we went to a jewelry factory and the man who was selling us a ring told her she had “perfect fingers,” that is, they were “not too long, nice sized, and beautiful” - the rings fit her well, she was a little worried they were too tight, but he said it is because she was hot (nicely stated, instead of swollen). Yeah, she did all right today. The Agra Fort is one of my favorite places. It was started in the 12th century and finished in the 13th century. The outside has a double moat, the outer most was filled with water and crocodiles, and the inner one had wild animals (tigers and bears – actually, these “medallion bears, so named by the while medallion shape around their necks and chest, than all the other wild mammals combined). Anyway, it is very secure. The engineering of the palaces are incredible. They have air spaces between the walls for airconditioning, and for the wife of the man who built the Taj Mahal, they had water that was pumped between the walls for his favorite wife (meaning he had a harem). The part I like best is that after the Mogul who built the Taj Mahal as a mausoleum for the same favorite wife (she gave him a son, and he loved her deeply), his grandson killed his brothers, and imprisoned the Mogul there (and you think you had family issues!) However, the grandson built a wing so that his grandfather could see the Taj Mahal from the balcony to ease his pain. And the marble is the same material, and in the pictures you will see the craftsmanship and in one of them, the marble is carved so thin appears to backlight the jewels that were used there to decorate it. Our guide was fantastic and kept taking Debs iPhone to take pictures of her/us and they were amazing. He also told Debbie (because she asks everyone everything, I sometimes get embarrassed, but she is so sweet about it, people don’t mind, or very nicely decline – I could never do that stuff) that he has 2 wives and two daughters. He is excited about taking her to the Taj Mahal tomorrow, and I think it is ok if I go, if I don’t cause too many problems… We are exhausted from the heat (as you see in the pictures) and I will write about the incredible day I know we are going to have tomorrow on the flip side. Have a lovely Sunday.


India #2 clinic day #2, Refugees Sat 9-30-17 fb.me/7EYhzuajO