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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Supply list for Jordan

As you might be aware, I am leaving on my Medical Mission for Operation Smile next month to Amman, Jordan to be a Student Educator. My role on the mission will be to teach Burn care and Prevention, Oral Rehydration Therapy, Oral and Dental Hygiene, and Nutrition in local hospitals, schools, orphanages, refugee camps, and villages in Amman. I will also be responsible for spending time with patients before and after their surgeries.
 I will be leaving around the 24th of February and spending approximately 2 weeks there. Jordan is located in the Middle East near Egypt, Syria, and Iraq.  The unique thing about my mission site is that patients are flown in from Baghdad, Pakistan, and surrounding areas that are not safe for us to go to, to receive their surgeries. I am collecting items to take to the kids of Amman. Anything will help, but I’ve put together the following list of supplies that I need in particular.
Operation Smile changes lives in a matter  of 45 minutes and $240 dollars.  Through your donations to those who have so little, you too, can change a life. Your support in providing any of the listed or not listed items will be so priceless.  Thank you in advance for all your support!

Jordan Supply List

  • Toothbrushes (At least 2,000)
  • Stickers, Stickers, Stickers!*
  • YOYOS!*
  • Bouncy Balls*
  • Stamps
  • Sidewalk chalk
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Toy sunglasses
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Sharpies
  • Finger/hand puppets
  • Bubbles Bubbles Bubbles bubbles*
  • Pens, pencils
  • Small notepads/journals
  • Inflatable balls (Specifically globes are a hit)
  • Nail polish
  • Hair accessories (barrettes, headbands, etc)
  • Coloring books
  • Small stuffed animals
  • Latex gloves
  • Hot wheels type cars
  • Small play jewelry
  • Crowns
  • Hats
  • Little footballs, basketballs
  • ANYTHING that lights up
  • Piggy banks
  • Leis
  • Decorations for the hospital
  • Yarn to make friendship bracelets
  • Basically anything that can be found in the dollar store

You can also help by:

  • Donating (I can use the money to go buy the supplies I don’t get donated)
  • Spreading the word through Facebook, Blogs, Twitter, word of mouth..
  • Writing letters to companies explaining what I am doing
  • Referring me to anyone who knows Arabic
  • Making “Get well soon” cards for the children after they receive their surgery
  • Making a sign to hang up in the hospital for kids to draw on
  • If you have any other ideas, please let me know! I’ll be taking anything and everything that I can pack in my weight limits

Thank you SO much for all your support. I really appreciate all you have done for me to get me to this point. I can’t wait to go to Jordan and bring them all the donations that will be brought in. Of course I will be taking pictures so you can see who your things are going to Jordan! :)

Ana laa ahkee Arabee

I found this site and found some words they recommend you know before a trip to Jordan. I feel like I'll be making an epic fail- but at least I am trying!! Na'am! :) 
Min fadlak (to a man)
Min fadlik (to a woman)
Thank you
You're welcome
What is your name?
Shoo ismek?
Lao samaht
Excuse me
'An iznek
What time is it?
Edesh el sa'aa?
How much?
I don't speak Arabic
Ana laa ahkee Arabee
I've been posting like crazy lately.. Dang- it doesn't tell me how to say sorry..
Shukran for reading! :)

You'll be going to..

January 19, 2010
This last weekend, I went to Portsmouth, Virginia to take part of Operation Smile's Winter Mission Training Workshop (MTW) with about 40 other students ages 16-18. Selected as ambassadors and student educators for Operation Smile, we were given the amazing opportunity to come together and train to go on an International Medical Mission.
{my AMAZING friends and I in the lovely conference room for classes}

{The BEAUTIFUL view from my room. I watched the sunrise over the water and it was to die for}

It was so awesome to stay in beautifullllll Virginia with all of our friends to grow stronger as leaders, friends, and family. We were inspired and had a million laughs and memories for a lifetime.
{Team Domination}

All week we trained, trained, trained and trained some more with presentations and speakers inbetween. All for one night.. On the final night of the party, we went to the Magee's GORGEOUS home in Norfolk and ate this incredible food, and just partied. We were all nervous and ancy because we had been waiting for mission assignments for a long time.. They kept stalling it and getting our hopes up and it was awful! But I just couldn't wait. I was getting so nervous and excited.
{Some of the girls before our Final Partaayy}

FINALLY. they sat us down and said they were starting.. AHH!!!! I was holding my friend Elizabeth's hand and we were both shaking. Then, they called MY NAME first! I was overjoyed! I knew they were going in order of the first missions. So, I knew I was going pretty soon. I was SO happy at that moment, I thought I was going to cry. Then, they called up my partner- Sasha. Sasha and I had worked together earlier that weekend with our mini presentation groups and they thought we did well together, so they paired us up! :)
{Sasha and I giving our presentation on ORT}

Then, they told us we would be traveling with our mission sponsor-- Miss Amanda Bryer! She is part of the Student Programs Staff and just an AMAZING woman. I'm so glad I get to go with her. I was so nervous... the only thing left was the assignment.. Brittany started. I was shaking.

You'll be going to.... AMMAN, JORDAN!

{Sasha, Amanda looking at me for some reason as I freak out about our mission assignment!}

AHHHHHHHHHHHHhh. I lost it! It was such a cool moment. I hugged Sasha and Amanda and then Brittany told me we would be in Jordan on February 25!! That was SO close!!! THAT was when I lost it!

Amman, Jordan


In case you don't know (Because I didn't), Amman is in the Middle East. It is one country over from Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. Wowwwwww. This is sooo crazy to me! I can't wait to go.

Right now, I am asking for DONATIONS DONATIONS DONATIONS. I need anything and everything from fingernail polish to blow up globes and soccer balls. Headbands, coloring books, toothbrushes, sidewalk chalk, stuffed animals, toys, crowns, sunglasses, necklaces.. just anything to entertain little kids--- AND teenagers.

I would really appreciate if you could help me out in any of these places.

Love you!!


December 25, 2009

Life has been hectic the last few weeks with school and just all the things that I'm doing, but at the same time, it has been so wonderful. I am definitely a blessed person!

First, I want to let you know that I got accepted to WMTW 2010!!!! wowwww. I could hardly contain my excitement when I found out! It was stressful because first, they sent us an email a week after we were supposed to find out saying we would find out by that Friday. Friday came and went.. no word. Finally, Monday night- people start saying they got in or didn't get in! All day Monday people were finding out.. and I had no word still. Tuesday morning. I get a text from one of my really good friends in New Mexico who applied. She hadn't heard anything either but one of the people from her school had found out that morning they had not been accepted. We texted all day and kept checking our emails. Then, after school- she told me that she did not get accepted. It was hard to hear, because I was so excited to go to the training with her. She was my roommate at ISLC in Virginia this summer, and we had so much fun getting to know each other those few days. It was 6pm, and I still hadn't heard anything. I went to the choir concert, and I kept getting texts from people all over the place who wanted to know if I had heard. FINALLY I get home from the concert at about 10, and open my email. It was there!!!!

Thank you so much for all your support and love through this process. It has been so rewarding and just amazing. I can't wait!!! In January, I'll be leaving to Portsmouth, Virginia from the 15-18 to attend the training. At the end of the training, I'll be told who my mission partner (companionnnn hehe:) is and where I will be going on my mission! The papers that I'm filling out have a "Mission Availability" form with them, and all the missions that we'll go on from this training are between February and August! Ah! I have been waiting for about 3 years for this opportunity! And now it's here! I feel like an LDS Missionary when I say that, though my mission will only be for about 2 weeks, these wonderful and inspiring boys leave for 2 years to do something so much more life-changing. I'm proud of them! Anyways, I can not even express how thankful I am that I have Operation Smile in my life. It is a life-changing organization not only for those who receive the surgeries, but for those who have the opportunity to help in any way.

Right now, I am asking for donations for things I can take on my mission. As a student volunteer, our main purpose on a mission is to educate. We also bring supplies and presentations for the kids in the orphanages, villages, schools, and hospitals that we visit. Here are some photos that I stole from some friends prepping for their missions.

This is my friend Rachel Leva from New Jersey. She just came back from her mission to Ninh Thuan, Vietnam. She was there as part of the 20th Anniversary mission there. They had 16 sites all over Vietnam that ran simultaneously. I believe they did over 3,100 surgeries! How amazing!

These toothbrushes also went to Vietnam. My friend Tenaya Drapkin from Malibu, California went on her mission to Vietnam as part of the 20th Ann. Celebration as well. This isn't even a portion of how many tb's they brought! Her and her Mission Partner Jenna Fredrickson (She is by far one of the most incredible people I have yet to meet in my life) took over 3,000 toothbrushes! Wow! :)

This photo (By Victoria Stabile) is of my friends Dalton Valerio (from NM) and Alexander Bischoff (from VA). They just barely came back from their mission in Guhwati,  India on Dec. 13. As you can see, they are pretty funny guys:) I love them both and they do great things for Operation Smile. I sent them to India with about 200 TB's!

The things that we really need/want to bring on our missions are toothbrushes, stuffed animals, little toys, crowns, STICKERS, BUBBLES, pipecleaners, coloring books, etc. I would really appreciate if you could help me out with any of these items to take on my mission.

Well, I guess this is turning into another Operation Smile post.. surprise surprise haha;)
 But, I'd like to just wish you and your family and friends a beautiful Christmas or holiday- whatever you celebrate this time of year! I am so very thankful to have you as part of my life, and I love you! Life has been so good to me lately, and I am so in debt to everyone who has made it as such. If I don't get blog before next  year, I wish you all an incredible 2010!

Love, Peace, Safety, Health and Happiness always!


October 22, 2009
It's 4:22am and I can't sleep. I'm sick with Swine. Yuck.

My Operation Smile Mission Training application will be going in the mail soon. It's pretty intensive, but I can't wait to finish it. Upon completion, I will send it to headquarters in Norfolk, Virgina and the Student Programs board will look through it. Only 40 students from around the entire world are chosen for MTW in January, so it is a lot of pressure.. There are sooo many incredible and highly qualified students out there. It amazes me how many amazing people there are (kindof cliche). If I am granted admittance into MTW, I will travel to Portsmouth, Virgina in January to complete the Mission  Training Workshop. This workshop is 3 days of intense learning. They teach you everything that you do on a mission, and you are given a plethora of knowledge. They quiz you in 'Rapid Fire' rounds and you give presentations on Oral rehydration, burn care, basic personal hygiene, etc. The students main purpose on a medical mission is to educate. So we go to villages, orphanages, schools, hospitals, etc and teach the community about how to take care of themselves and their smiles. We provide toothbrushes and whatever other needs they might have.

At the end of mission training, you pray for the opportunity to be chosen to go on a Medical Mission. From what I've been told, the supervisors of the training watch the students closely. They watch to see who is working well together, and who gets along the best, etc. Then, they pair each person with another. This person becomes that person's mission partner. On the last day of MTW, there is a final party. At this party, they reveal who your mission partner is, and the location and approximate dates of your mission. I've had so many friends go through this process and I've had it explained to me as the happiest moment in their lives. Wow. chills.

Operation Smile has done more than provide over 130,000 surgeries worldwide to children who were not given the opportunity to lead  a normal life because of a cleft lip/palate; It has changed my life. Since my initial involvement in 2008, I've just grown more and  more in love with this cause. It has given me a motivation and drive to be the best person that I can be while serving others. It has become a life changing outlet for me, as well as others. I watched a video once and someone on it said something along the lines of 'Operation Smile isn't just about the surgery, it's about the message'. I totally couldn't agree more. OS does something other than just give free life altering surgery. It goes much deeper than that.. Which is why I have become so passionate about it. 
ISLC '08: Inspire Waves of Change

I don't go a day without thanking my Father in Heaven for the opportunity that I have to have Operation Smile be a part of my life. The experiences I've had, the stories I've heard, the changes I've made, and the people I've met.. It's all so amazing to me. If every person that I know could have something that does what op smile does for me.. wow, I think that the world would be an outstanding place. All of the people I've had the opportunity to work with through OS are so incredible. They are students, just like you and me- who have decided that someone, should do something-- They have decided to be that someone. All of them are leaders in their schools, communities, clubs, and the world. They motivate me and lift me up when I need it. They are such driven individuals.. I am just so humbled to know them. I strive to be that person as well.

My life wouldn't and couldn't be complete without Operation Smile. The reason why I'm up so late is because I can't seem to sleep.. so I've been thinking about OS. haha.. Of course I have. I absolutely love it. I don't know what else I can say! I wish that I could somehow convey to you how deeply I feel about this cause. I want to go on a Medical Mission so badly. It would the the most humbling and profound experience that would change my life forever. Can you even fathom that? Something that could simple Change. Your. Life. wow. I aspire to become part of the ELC. ELC is the Executive Leadership Council for Operation Smile Student Programs. Each year at ISLC (International Student Leadership Conference), you are put into teams.  The team 'leader' is the ELC. This person is in charge on your team and also just does everything for the conference really.. an ELC could probably be compared to an EFY Counselor (I think.. This is just from what I've observed, never gone to EFY). Actually, I credit EFY for my involvement in Operation Smile. Had I not been rejected to every session and location I applied for EFY in Spring of '08, I wouldn't have gone to ISLC.. Which is where I became involved in OS. God had planned that I'm sure. To become an ELC, I will first have to be a WELC (pronounced 'wel-k' haha). This person is a 'wannabe- elc' ;) I will apply to be a WELC this spring for summer of '10. This person is basically.. what the name is- a Wannabe-ELC. If I get accepted to be a WELC, I will be paired iwth an ELC at ISLC and be their assistant. I will help in all the ELC duties and just learn what it is like. I've heard that being a WELC or ELC, you shouldn't plan on eating, sitting, or sleeping during islc from everything you'll be doing. But I hardly sleep anyways (evident in the time this is posted), and if this swine stuff persists, I won't have to worry about the eating part either! :) I'm so excited!!!!
My Team: Macedonia
We were simply the most incredible team ever. EVER. I love how in this picture, everyone just looks.. Happy.

After I graduate from high school, I really want to pursue operation smile. I would love to take it to whatever college is crazy enough to accept me, and also become a mission sponsor when I am old enough. A mission sponsor is the adult who supervises the student team on the mission. I want to keep OS in my life forever.. I owe it to it, since it has changed mine forever. 

I love Operation Smile.
I also need to sleep, seeing as my alarm clock will go off momentarily. Fantastic. : )

Smile, Sleep, and NO SWINE!!!

Wash your hands! :)


PS: My alarm just went off.


The next series of blog posts are from my private blog- the are from a few months ago. They detail my journey with Op Smile.

Operation Smile

Operation Smile has changed my life. I hope you can enjoy this blog as I write about my mission to Amman, Jordan from when I applied to the Mission Training Workshop, to the days after I return from Amman. Thank you so much for your love and support for me.