Mission trip with Operation Smile
I just got back from my mission trip with Operation Smile to Paraguay. Operation Smile is an organization that I’ve been involved with since fifth grade with the Final Mile and then I was part of the middle school club at Plaza for the IB program. I’ve been trying to get our club rolling here.
The mission trip to Paraguay was probably in the top three of my life experiences ever. It was amazing! The connection you had with the children’s parents was so strong but you couldn’t even really communicate with them because they spoke a different language; it was all through love and your actions toward taking care of their children. They were basically giving their child to you and putting their trust in you. It was an unbelievable experience.
We were student educators – that was our role on the mission. We had six different health modules that we brought along with us. There was dental hygiene, burn care, oral rehydration therapy, CPR/Heimlich maneuver, nutrition, and handwashing. It was interesting to see their excitement to learn about it. There were local volunteers who live in Paraguay who translated for us. We would speak in English and they would say it in Spanish.
What did you personally learn from the experience?
It did put things in perspective. I get a little worked up about school work or I’ll get stressed about tests and stuff, and it made me feel very relaxed when I came back to school. I was, like, school is important but it is not the only thing in life that’s important. There is a lot more to people’s happiness than people getting good grades and getting into a good college. A lot more comes out of the love you give to people and the love that people give back to you and helping others.