16 Oct 08 Brushing My Teeth in Public

The most tramatic part of my daily life is brushing my teeth in public. I have always thought that personal dental care was personal! That it should be done in private with no one watching. Even when I was married I would prefer to brush my teeth alone. So where do Ghanaian’s brush their teeth? Outside. With God and everybody around. So there I am with a mouth full of toothpaste foam, a tooth brush and one of my students greets me! At least I am not required to give a verbal response, A nod of the head will do. But I almost feel like I was caught naked!

There really is no where else to do it. In Suhyen I had a real drain in the bathing area so I would brush in there. And no way was I brushing outside in the middle of town where everyone one would see me. But here I only have a hole in the wall in my bathing area. I am afraid that the toothpaste would not drain out very well and be on the floor. There are no sinks so I can’t brush over a sink.  One very rainy day I brushed over a bucket inside but I didn’t like the toothpaste gunk in the house. So the only place to brush is outside.

I just reread this and so I sound neurotic. I have a thing with teeth.

Dizzy and her parents recently went away to a very nice hotel for an awards ceremony. Her dad won a best teacher in Ghana award. The one thing she was most excited about was brushing her teeth inside in a sink, A girl after my own heart!

-vc

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