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Today was the day. It’s a day that will go down in history. It’s a day that makes me thankful I never have to bear children…the pain.

I had a root canal today. Everyone knows those are unpleasant, but have you ever tried it outside a first world country?

I found out in August that I was going to need a root canal and crown. How much would that cost, you ask? Oh a cool $1600 even though I have insurance. Well, I certainly didn’t want to pay that kind of money just to allow someone to torture me. So, I held out until I got here to Peru. How much will this cost in Peru? About $200.

I met Mijail in Pueblo Libre and my appointment was at ten. The dentist showed up about 20 minutes late. In the US, we’re used to going and waiting and waiting and waiting sometimes for hours before being seen by the doc. I guess with all things considered I’d take that 20 minute wait any day. He came to his Pueblo Libre office just for me today.

I was already nervous since I had never had a root canal or anything done to my mouth for that matter. Then I noticed a few things: there was a coke bottle filled with-maybe alcohol for cleaning, the chair was super old and not a white, sterile looking chair we are used to and his desk is actually in the same space as the “surgery” area. Did I mention my dentist is only 26 or 27?

It was an uncomfortable couple of hours. I was literally shaking I was so nervous (aka terrified but nervous sounds more manly). Every so often I had to lean up and spit some blood out.

I told my mom he gave me six shots of amnesia and apparently he did because I couldn’t remember the word much less how to spell anesthesia. Usually, he gives just one or two shots.

Though it was incredibly uncomfortable and an unusual setting, he actually did a great job. I have to go back in Friday and let him finish since he couldn’t give me more anesthesia today and there was mucho pain. I’ll try to get a picture so everyone can see!

After being tortured, I spent the afternoon at Amber’s house. Such random things happen to me in this country. I had to go get some money changed and the money change place has a big mirror for a wall. My face felt like it was huge because it was numb from the shots. As the man got my money together, I looked in the mirror and rubbed my face to see if it looked as big as it felt. I think he thought I was checking myself out. He proceed to say, “Muy gordo.” That means very fat. Thanks, dude, for the encouragement on my already torturous day. So I flipped him off. Just kidding, I took my money and left.

The bus on the way home was nice. There are always tons of people who get on to beg, sell candy, or entertain for money. Tonight a magician/comedian got on. He was funny; at least I think he was. Everyone was laughing. I  had to get up before he was done to get off the bus. As I passed him he said, “Adios, esta guapo.” That means goodbye, you’re handsome…or hot in some circles.

 

Gordo? Guapo? Which is it? Mixed signals, Peru, mixed signals. But it’s just another day in life for a gringo in Peru.

 

You know on a more serious note, I am learning some new things from the Lord. There is a lesson having to do with the steadiness of God that’s coming up inside of me. I find it so interesting that whether I am moving at breakneck pace working at a place like Teen Mania or living without a set schedule in a foreign country, my heart can be satisfied and steady. What really matters in life is proximity to God and because of the blood of Jesus that prox. status is: near. It’s always near. Location is not important. Profession, nope. Goodness, nope.  “But as for me, the nearness of God is my good.”

 

21When my heart was embittered
And I was pierced [v]within,
22 Then I was senseless and ignorant;
I was like [w]a beast [x]before You.
23 Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You have taken hold of my right hand.
24 With Your counsel You will guide me,
And afterward receive me [y]to glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but You?
And [z]besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the [aa]strength of my heart and my portion forever.
27 For, behold, those who are far from You will perish;
You have [ab]destroyed all those who [ac]are unfaithful to You.
28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made the Lord [ad]God my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works.

Psalm 73

You should read that whole passage http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm%2073&version=NASB 

It’s so good. Appearance can be tricky and deceitful. Emotions can be tricky and deceitful, up and down constantly. Heart and flesh may fail, but God…

That’s my life right now. When you take a big leap of faith and move (and miss a few details- registering for classes on time?), it can cause a roller coaster of thought and emotion. No matter the season though or location, there is a God in control. He’s Good. He’s near.

 

It’s better to live for the afterward (vs. 24).

 

-KS

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