Since my first trip to Haiti, I have been on 6 other mission trips between 2009 and 2016. I have been blessed to be able to experience different cultures and interact with people from all around the world. I will recap some of my most memorable trips below:
1) El Salvador in 2010 - we were a team of 40 strong with a volunteer organization called OneSight. https://onesight.org/
In the 2 weeks we were there we saw over 10,000 patients. Below is a picture of some of the line ups in the morning (left). This little girl got custom glasses made to her prescription. Notice the circular lens, it allows us to turn the lens 360 to give her the correct astigmatism correction she needed to see clearly (right).
2) Dominican Republic 2013 - my first student trip as a third year student! We had 5 amazing doctors and 21 optometry students. Even though we were in Dominican Republic, most of the patients we saw were Haitian refugees living in Dominican. Below is a picture of me and some kids who were amazed by the forward facing camera on the Iphone 4 (left). We had set up various stations so that our exams were efficient and so we could see as many patients as possible. This is the refracting station where we would give the glasses prescriptions (right).
3) Billings, MT 2015 and National City, CA 2016 - these two trips were very different from my first few trips. In Billings and National City, we moved away from bringing recycled glasses and started manufacturing custom glasses for everyone! On both of these trips, we saw mainly kids. Most of these kids' parents had been told from the school nurse that they needed glasses but due to lack of funds or resources, the kids never received any glasses. We saw over 1200 kids on each trip and manufactured glasses for over 80% of them. Eye exams were conducted on Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs and glasses were handed out on Fri. Below are only some of the kids we gave eye exams to. Some of them had been diagnosed with learning deficits when all along it was because they could not focus and see the board! You can just imagine the look on some of these kids when we put glasses on them for the first time, especially the boy in the last picture.