It all began when I was in Middle School. Raffi Friedman, a high schooler at the time, gave a presentation on a medical mission trip she took with Operation Smile. I thought to myself, I have to do that. When I got to high school, I joined the Operation Smile club, which was under the direction of Ali Friedman (Raffi's little sister). My freshman year, Raffi gave a presentation on her medical mission to Guwahati, India. It was a "mega-mission," which means they did way more surgeries than a normal mission, because the cleft lip and cleft palette population was astoundingly high. Her pictures were beautiful and her stories stuck with me.
Below is a little bit more about where I am and what I am doing...
Guwahati is located in Assam, which is in the very north east of India. Surrounding Assam are Myanmar, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. Here in Guwahati, the people speak Assamesse but in the vicinity there are hundreds of dialects. The population of Guwahati is 2,508,021.
| Top row cleft lips (left to right): Unilateral incomplete, unilateral complete, bilateral complete|
Bottom row cleft palettes (left to right): Bilateral complete, unilateral complete, unilateral incomplete,