Teeth - frightful or funny?
You know that feeling when you're really happy? When your heart makes your eyes shine with joy and lightness and you put a smile on the faces of the people you meet?
That is how I feel as I head home. I pass a house where four dogs suddenly start barking madly at me. Full of aggression and rage, they leap back and forth. For a moment, I'm surprised, because dogs here are normally peaceful. I sense the danger they pose, but continue on my way because I assume they can't get out. How wrong I am! They slip between the bars! I'm already yelling at three of them, which attack me from the front. At the same time, I look around for stones, and throw a rock at them, weighing at least five kilos. They back away a little. Relieved, I keep yelling at them, and seek another piece of rock, when the fourth dog bites my foot from behind, unseen. Ouch!
Seconds stretch like minutes before someone finally calls the dogs off.
I only check when I get home: two teeth have pierced the skin and the Achilles tendon is swollen from the pressure of the bite. I disinfect everything and put ice on. But the deep wound lies elsewhere. Inside, I am deeply shaken. When Kaira comes home hours later and I tell him what happened, tears well up in my eyes. Only a hug can do what all the well-intentioned words could not do before: I calm down!
I know I can't show off my teeth, patched and repaired as they are, (best seen when I'm laughing.) I laugh anyway. That's why my teeth arouse great amazement, curiosity and laughter among the Maasai, who are equipped with the best and most durable dental material, which seems to last most of them well into old age.
Children unabashedly look into my mouth to see my gold inlays. When they meet me for the first time, the women ask if I use a pin to remove the teeth where the gum has exposed the edge. No, I don't. Too bad, they would have liked to see that. Can I still chew with my teeth? Yes, I can! Then an old woman comes up to me and shows me that she is missing three incisors. She laughs at the top of her lungs, sticks her tongue through the gap and causes such amusement that she makes me, her fellow sufferer, burst into laughter with her.
I love this uninhibited directness!
In life there's always something! Overall, I am very, very grateful! It's so nice to see what is possible when people join forces! Thank you!🧡