Operation Smile and Our Medical Mission

If you are unfamiliar with Operation Smile, it is a non-profit, internationally recognized childrens charity that mobilizes a world of generous hearts and medical teams to heal children's smiles and transform lives across the globe. We offer surgery free of charge for cleft lip and palates through volunteer International Medical Missions in developing countries.

We (Mima and Olivia) will be away from the 19th through the 31st of March with a team of 70 people, made up of doctors, nurses, speech therapists, medical record keepers and more. We will be participating as student volunteers on the mission.

The primary role of a student on a medical mission is to Educate. We will be meeting hundreds of families and children everyday at the hospital or in local schools and orphanages. We will have the opportunity to give people presentations about Dental Hygiene, Oral Re-hydration, Burn Care, and Nutrition. We will also be spending time with children and families before their surgeries and after. We also have the opportunity to sit in on surgeries.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Day 2 Surgery - Visit with Orphans

Hello all!

Today was the 2nd day of surgery but we didn't see much of the hospital happenings. We played with kids in Pre-Op until around 1:00 pm and then left for a visit with 5 orphanages.
Pre-Op: We had some fun this morning with the kids. We brought a really big inflatable sea turtle--a pool toy-- and we gave it to the kids to play with. They went absolutely nuts over it, which we actually have on film. Three little boys--Ibrahim, Youseff, and Mustaffa-- were jumping like crazy on it and began to fight. There was screaming and crying and what was once excitement and joy turned to stress. The hospital is not child-proof. For one thing, the beds are pretty old and rickety. There are rusted metal pieces coming off of them, and we were pretty scared someone was going to get hurt. So the sea turtle "swam away" for awhile. The morning was pretty good, though hectic with those rowdy boys. Our visit with the orphans ended up being delayed from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Still don't know why... as Margarita would say "What do you expect?! We're in Aswan!!"
Anywhooo, Dr. Ahmed picked Margarita, Rimah (our translator) and us up and we drove to a sports center, where 5 orphanages had gathered for their 'Fun day', which included our presentations. There were 100 kids. They gathered under a tree outside and we presented. They were pretty excited to see us. While we were presenting a camera was also filming us for the local TV station. This all became choatic when we finished our presentations and began to hand out toothbrushes. We held out the first toothbrush to the first child and immediately all the other kids swarmed! It was overwhelming to have 2oo hands grabbing at you and pleading to have a toothbrush. We had enough of course and had planned to give one to each but in the mayhem many came back and everyone tried to settle them down but it was like a riot. We will tell you more about it later...just ask...Afterwards we went out to a restaurant with Dr. Ahmed and he introduced us to some local cuisine: koshary (not sure on the spelling there). Then sugar cane juice which was yummy and we agreed that that is what bamboo should taste like. Then we went back to the hospital and tried to help out whereever we could, there wasn't much however, because everything was closing up. We did see a bunch of kids we have gotten to know in post-op, like Youseff.

Bedtime for Bonzos,

Much love and kisses

Olivia and Mima


1 comment:

  1. So cool. All kids, anywhere in the world, will love an inflatable sea turtle. Sounds like you two are becoming famous in Aswan! Television cameras, riots during your appearances? Awesome. Keep writing.