Monday, October 24, 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Friday, June 10, 2011

Surgery Day 3.

Im really bleak that I havent had time to sit and write down everything I've down. I'm certain I've forgotten to share so many stories. But this craziness has been really productive. Many of these photos are from the schoool visit to St Paul's Academy. The student team is incredible. Sophie is an Archaelogist and Kristy is a 5th-year Med Student. Both of them are super sweet, really fun and are doing a wonderful job taking initiative and entertaining the kids. Today, I think we did 31 surgeries. We've done so many cleft palate repairs this week. OH we got chocolate milk at tea time today! (I think I'm the only one who was drinking it, but it totally made my day!) I watched another interesting surgery, removing a huge bulge of tissue that was over the one side of a woman's face. (I'm sure there's a technical term for it.. But there you go.) Tomorrow brings many more surgeries, many more memories built with extraordinary people and, no doubt, a ton more jokes with the anaesthesia team. Also, go download this song, it's super cute and free. And for every download they donate a dollar to Opertaion Smile. If we reach our goal, and with your help we will, we'll be able to raise funds for 41 surgeries through this. A song for a smile!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Kinshasa so far...

 {some photos from the Kinshasa Mission so far.}
Today was day one of surgery, and tomorrow i visit The American School to talk about opsmile bc theyre starting a student club. The local support has been INCREDIBLE. -Beyond what we couldve asked for! I watched two incredible contracture release operations on brothers who fell into the fire where their mother was cooking. It was beautiful to watch. Surgery truly is art. And the knowledge of how much this is going to change their lives is overwhelming. I learnt so much from the doctors today, being that girl hanging out in the OR asking a thousand questions. Every time i watch a surgery im certain i want to (have to) be a plastic surgeon. We still have a ton of people coming for screening every day, and the surgeries are going really well. We have a research team collecting data in an attempt to determine causes or contributing factors to cleft lips; a real life CSI team! ...Except there wasn't a murder. Day two of surgery tomorrow. Better get to bed!

Friday, March 11, 2011

There really is light.

I've been... a mess. For a long time. Longer than I'm brave enough to admit. Longer than I let myself realise. And yesterday, I experienced what I can only call divine revelation. -A sense of relief, of release, and for the first time in what feels like forever: hope.

And maybe you don't need to know this; maybe it won't change your life knowing that I've been living in darkness deeper than I could bare to risk escaping; maybe it's not going to affect your day knowing that I finally feel like I can breathe again. But today I realised that doesn't matter. And though I am so desperate for my every action and interaction to be significant, to change the world or a life; I realised that I can love you, and want to make you proud, without losing myself in an attempt to be perfect for you.

I write. That's what I do, always have. Not because I think I have a particular talent or because I feel I have something profound to say. I write to survive. Perhaps self-indulgent, perhaps wise; but liberating all the same. I haven't been sure of anything recently, but today I am sure that this is the only way I'll cope. Whether I wake up in tears or raring to face the day, I will learn something new, discuss something controversial, meet someone fascinating, consider a philospher's ideas... And I will tell their story.

So I've chosen to write. For my sanity. And in the hope that my words would inspire you to consider the validity of a different point of view, the reality in another person's world, or to confront the truth -even the brutality- of your own.

Also, you should read this. It kinda scares me that I talk to her every day and yet I had no idea we've been thinking the same thing. But mostly, I think she says it better than I ever could. And you really need to hear it.