Student Volunteer: Nikki Glucksman
School: International School of Bangkok (ISB)
Mission: Ubon Ratchathani province, 2013
This was my second operation smile trip that I have gone one. The first one I went to was when I was new to Bangkok at the end of seventh grade. Even though the trip in middle school was amazing, I felt like this trip meant more to me because I was able to understand more about what was going on. During this trip I was able to withstand seeing the blood of the surgery, and seeing the kids before and after their surgery made my eyes water. Knowing that a thirty to two hour procedure changed their lives completely changed my life completely. How something so small can make the biggest difference. Playing with the kids also made me happy because it made them forget about the surgery they were about to have, it also made me feel like I had made their day, which was our goal. I think that being able to go on this trip helps us to realize how privileged we are, to not have deformities, and if we do we can easily get them fixed. It is harder however, for a lot of people in Thailand. They cannot afford what the hospitals require them to pay making it hard for them to receive surgery. Operation Smile has opened thousands of opportunities to allow kids to smile again happily without a cleft lip or palate, and I am glad I was a part of that experience and was able to help and watch a kids life change.