Lavara is one of many who had her very first visit to the dentist today in Orokolo Bay.
Lavara, 42 years old, lives in Pakovuru village and had been experiencing a toothache for over a year. She had grown accustomed to eating only on the right side of her mouth and waking up in the night in pain – but when word reached her village that a medical ship was anchored nearby, she was determined to be seen.
“We have no dentists in our area – when I heard people could fix teeth on the ship I said to myself, ‘I must go!’” said Lavara.
After an hour and a half walk and a 10-minute boat ride to the ship, she waited to be seen by the dentist.
“I was a bit scared – I’ve never seen a dentist before,” Lavara giggled.
Lavara had her tooth removed by YWAM Medical Ships volunteer dentist, Dr. Stephen Marks in the MV YWAM PNG’s recently renovated dental clinic.
After her procedure Lavara waited on the deck outside the clinic and said, “thank you for coming.”
Even with her face half numb Lavara could not stop smiling.