The semi-annual, regular dental visits that I have maintained all of my adult life was sacrificed to my hurried preparations to get to Kenya. The date for it fell a few days after my flight from SFO, and I just didn’t arrange to change the appointment. Thus, now that I have been in Kenya for almost 5 months, my teeth were really feeling dirty.
I found two sources of dental care near here. At Saint Camilla’s Hospital in Migori, Brother Bonaventure assured me by phone that they had a dentist who would enjoy seeing me because “He is like you.” I assume he is also an expat, or at least a white man. (You know, we all look alike so we must also enjoy each other. No, really, I am sure it is true. Tamara is 16 years younger than I and has longer hair, but we get called each other’s names all the time. When we are together, we are also asked if we are sisters. It is quite amusing, most of the time.) The second place I was told to go was Aga Kahn Hospital in Kisumu, a branch of the premier hospital in Nairobi. There, I was told, I could be confident that the equipment would be properly clean and the care professional.
I ended up at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital. I thought I was at Aga Kahn, because that is where I asked to go, and that the name had been changed to a less colonial sounding name. However, after I got home I found that Aga Kahn is on the other side of town, and that the driver had taken me to the wrong place. As you can see, the physical plant is adequate, with lots of old but well-maintained buildings, corridors outside but under metal roofs, and benches or chairs in the many waiting halls, both inside and out. The outside in front reminds me of the Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto—I think.
While there, I did manage to get my teeth cleaned, but it was the roughest teeth cleaning I have ever had. Probably, I now realize, because it must have been a student using the tools and spraying water all over my face! But at least the suction only went down my throat once, and it didn’t get far because I have a well-developed gag reflex. Happily, my teeth are all intact and my mouth no longer hurts. Next cleaning in another 8 months when I get back to the USA. But I bet that one costs a lot more than 1000 shillings! (about $10.00.)