Some of the OT students (Katie Beach, Aishani Patel, Ivana Poste, Fabiola Prasetio, and myself) went to Thailand this winter break for a mission trip!
We were able to practice services of occupational therapy in various settings such as at an orphanage, homes, community clinics, and AIDS hospice.
-Jae Lee, 2nd Year Occupational Therapy Student
Thank you to the mission team for using their talents to serve others.
Students further share their mission trip experiences:
Winter break 2016-2017, I had the opportunity to join a SIMS mission trip in partnership with Asia Pacific International University (APIU) and Bangkok Adventist Hospital. I initially though that two weeks was such a short duration to have any impact, however those experiences have provided long-lasting memories. During our two weeks in Thailand we visited the Bamboo School Orphanage, which took us seven hours to get to into the jungle on a very bumpy road. This visit was one of my most memorable. The children had so much love and affection to give us and we instantly fell in love with every one of them. While at the Bamboo School we also had the opportunity to go out into the community and do various home visits to some of the villagers. Coming back to APIU we set up a clinic for a few days at the university, which consisted of an ophthalmologist, a few physicians, nurses, occupational and physical therapists where we saw and treated various patients. Our last trip we had planned was to visit an AIDS hospice. Here we interacted with the clients and learn about their stories. This trip has provided me the opportunity to grow spiritually and clinically alongside with the ability of reflection. Through this trip I have acquired an increase awareness of my own worldview and beliefs. In addition, I have had the opportunity to practice seeing the world through another person’s cultural context. I hope to continue this new love for mission work and will continue to apply what I have learned through my clinical practice and daily life.
2nd Year Occupational Therapy Student
I’ve always known that I love children, but was not completely sure why. I assumed it was because of their innocence, maybe their contagious smiles? And from this trip, I found my answer.
From the beginning when I first met the children until the very last second, I am certain, that they knew there was going to be a timeline to our gathering. And for Moo-Moo and I, this was going to last for two days. I met the children a bit later than the rest of the group, since I was a part of the community reach-out group. When I came back to the Bamboo school later in the afternoon from visiting different homes in the community, all the children were back from school, running around everywhere. It was like one of those scenes when you are envisioning carefree, angelic children full of smiles, running and laughing in dirt. There I met Moo-Moo; flushed cheeks, and bright, glistening eyes. She curiously grabbed my hands, gently tugged me, and said, “teacher, teacher, catch me!” Just like that, we were running around the school before I was soaked with sweat in my black scrubs…in 90-degree weather!
Founder of the Bamboo school wanted each of us to have 2-3 kids so we were responsible for cleaning them, making sure they ate, did their homework, slept, woke up, ate breakfast, and then went to school the next day. I was so prepared, but these 3 to 9-year-old kids were so independent. They cleaned after themselves, dusted and deep cleaned the orphanage willingly, washed themselves and helped younger kids, woke up at 5:15am to a morning bell, worshipped, dressed themselves, and went on the truck where they had to hang onto bars in the back to go to school.
The next morning arrived quickly, and it was time to say good bye. Moo-Moo was dressed so nicely, in her feathery princess dress, and her choice of outfit still makes me smile so big; I’m sure it isn’t her normal school gear, but I think she really wanted to impress me. It was time for school, and everyone got on the truck, so did Moo-Moo, and there was our goodbye. It was just like how we said good night the night before, but this time, no words. Just tight hugs, her head to my cheeks, her arms squeezing into my back. A long, quiet, but strong hug.
Moo-Moo knew. She knew it was the end, but during our time together, she gave, and gave all of herself to me. Her undivided attention, smile, gentle stare, the love she had for her friends, and me—without any calculations nor hesitations. While I went to Bamboo school to give love to those children, they rather poured endlessly into my heart, soul and spirit. I felt unqualified to receive such unconditional love in its purest form.
So now when I’m asked why I love children so dearly, I would answer that it is because of their power to love unconditionally. And it is from this mission trip, I’ve learned how to approach my patients/clients; with the same heart Moo-Moo had for this one stranger, whose world is forever changed.
2nd Year Occupational Therapy Student