It was five years since my last trip to the dentist. I was adamant the receptionist had been eyeing up my teeth from the moment I walked into the clinic. Jaw clenched, and arms folded, I felt like a kid about to be scolded.

When she called my name and shyly asked something completely unrelated to dental hygiene, I was caught off-guard.

"Sorry to have to ask this, but is there any chance you are Samoan?"


"Yes, I am," I replied.

She explained one of their dentists was having trouble communicating with a Samoan patient. The elderly man was