Student Volunteer: Ravipa Burapachaisri
School: Ruamrudee International School (RIS)
Mission: Sisaket Medical Mission
Period: September 2015
To quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, "the purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well."
Junior year has made me busier than ever, and most of what I do is contributing to "me". I study for tests; I do homework—that’s my contribution to "Amp". However, frankly, I haven't had the chance to contribute to the society as much as I should have. Such is the reason why I have decided to start the Operation Smile Committee at Ruamrudee International School and participate in the Operation Smile mission to Sisaket.
I did not know fully what to expect; I was anxious, excited, but most importantly, eager for this new experience. Never before have I learned so much from such a short period of time. I've learned not only the causes and treatments for cleft or lip palates, but also the true lifestyle of being a Thai. This is a very authentic experience: communicating with patients at the ward, eating "Ee-san delicacies" (i.e. bugs), and overseeing the surgeries at the hospital.
Operation Smile has opened many doors for me, and I am more than honored to be able to use this opportunity to be useful to society.