Jill continues spreading goodwill and friendship!

Jill Moore sends photos and an update from her Alliance for Smiles Mission to Santiago, Philippines.

The 1st Web Album has general interest photos.    Click here and select "Slideshow".

The second Web Album has some graphic medical content. Just ignore this link if you do not wish to see these photos. To view click here and select "Slideshow".

To read her report click "More" below...

We have completed our sixth day and 67 surgeries to change the lives of these kids in Santiago City, Philippines.

The Rotary Club of Midtown Santiago City has been our host for this mission and they have done a remarkable job making our stay feel so warm and friendly.

Their small club is doing an incredible job with this huge undertaking as their 25th anniversary project. They are making a remarkable difference by positively changing many lives of kids across their district. Some families traveled great distances for our help. They are so grateful.  Their Rotary Club should be very proud of what they have accomplished.

What can I say that I have not said before? I can not believe the sights that I am seeing. We are the most fortunate people to live in our community in Tsawwassen.

We gave the clothes contributed by Gail McEwan to a girl and her grandma and then I bought Gramma three dresses. The next morning she had not eaten much so we took her to buy rice. 

I have been without computer access the last few days and I can't believe how much you miss being connected. I love to hear from home and when you are sitting in a hotel room half way around the world, tired and missing home. Email is a wonderful invention.

Every morning the team and I walk to the hospital past shanty houses. Water pumps are outside in the mud as it has been raining since we got here.

At one home next to the hospital I took a picture of a grandmother squatting to scrub laundry on an old piece of wood. The papa carried the family water in buckets slung over his shoulder from the pump down the street.

Today, speaking through an interpreter, I taught dental hygiene and basic oral hygiene to families waiting for surgery. A 16 year old boy sitting to my left would not make eye contact with me. He hung his head and only glanced up and in the other direction. When I asked if he would like to have his teeth treated his sister said YES!

I took him to the dental clinic for a filling. While I cleaned and sealed his teeth his sister chatted telling me their family of 12 kids lived far away outside a small village on a small corn farm. He stays home from school working on the farm because of his cleft lip.

He had a simple repairable cleft lip without a cleft palate and he is in the care of fantastic medical hands so I know the results will be so wonderful.

I told this young man he would look as handsome as Brad Pitt! He had no idea who the Brad was! The Pilipino dentist laughed and said the boy has never heard of him. Imagine someone on this planet that has not heard of Brad Pitt!  She suggested I name one of the Pilipino stars!

During our time together I could not get him to talk or smile until the very end with he allowed me the reward of a slight smile.

Today the Rotary District Governor, Assistant District Governor and other officials arrived at the hospital. The leaders asked me to stop with my patient to meet and have pictures taken with the officials. The District Governor told me of his district web site at:  http://www.rotarydistrict3770.org/.

Now we are off to the mayor's party at city hall; afterwards I will send the pictures.

Hope everyone is well and I look forward to getting home!!

Jill also forwarded an entry from a team member's journal; below is an edited version:

Saturday 1/17/09 Dave Fowler reports:

The past few days have been extremely busy.  Each day we leave the hotel at 0700 and most of us return at 6:30...some much later. The recovery room nurses and the sterilizer are the last to leave...sometimes staying as late as 10 pm.

Some team members were in the operating room until nearly 9:00 pm Tuesday night helping take care of a boy who had fallen in the street severely injuring his lip. How lucky that two of the best plastic surgeons in the world were available...at no charge! The mother said he was very lucky his head wasn't injured as they had no money to pay for his care.

So far this week we have helped change the lives of over 50 children.  One of those was Len Len Miguel, whose parents split up and left him with his grandparents. He is deaf and his grandmother only has partial hearing in one ear. The extremely poor family has few possessions or clothing so team members bought her the first dresses and panties she ever had.

Yesterday one little girl came in with the most severe deformity that I have ever seen. I hesitated in sending it to you because of the impact it might have, but decided to send it anyway...because of the impact it would have. [Note: The picture is included in the medical Web Album.]

It is impossible for our surgeons to do any repair for her because of the complexity of the procedure; however, they are sending her photos to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to see if there is any way she can travel to the US for the proper care.

The beds in the hospital are very uncomfortable wooden slat platforms for the patients as they are all the hospital can afford. One of our pediatricians decided to donate the money to buy mattresses for the beds in the ward we use. They're not fancy...2" thick and covered with Naugahyde material...but they're 100% better than what was there.

Rotary clubs around the country made and sent quilts used to cover the children before, during and after surgery. They are beautiful, all different and go home with the children. 

This team is one of the best with which I have served; they work above and beyond what anyone could expect. Last night some of them were at the hospital recovery room until 4 a.m. this morning taking care of one patient who had an extremely complicated surgery.

We're all looking forward to our one day off tomorrow.

The intermittent internet service prevented me from sending any emails and photos for the past few days. Hopefully it will stay connected and I will be able to keep you updated on what we're doing.

End of Dave's journal entry.


Jill from a world away!!