Tuesday, October 7, 2008

More Memories of Thailand 2008

I have posted photographs of Thailand: The autorefractor station, elephant riding a tricycle, team members riding an elephant, Docs on ants, and the Grand Palace in Bangkok. I hope these share the great diverse nature of this country. It was a pleasure to be there to serve 24,890 people.

Photo Memories of Thailand 2008

Here are photos of the Thailand 2008 team together on the last day of clinic. The students are int he red shirts and performing one of their farewell songs in English for the team. The next three photos are of various work stations of the clinic.

Friday, October 3, 2008


"Two observations on the Thailand mission:
1) The Chachoengsao GOS team is amazingly young and vital, very quick in learning the ropes in an Asian setting, and
2) Of the seven Asian GOS missions in since 2005, this mission stands out in serving many, many, young kids with proper glasses to further their education.

If the focus had only been on the adults, the future of the kids (mainly 8 to 12 year old) might have been bleak."

Theun Prins, Mission Team Volunteer
Theun and Heather Prins reside in Northern Thailand and have volunteered on each Asian mission they could make since 2005. They lead an organization that sponsors children who lost parents from AIDS, through primary and secondary educational opportunities. They are wonderful and devoted volunteers to Gift of Sight.

October 3, 2008 Last day of Clinic

We ended clinic with 2052 people visiting for a total of 24, 890 over the eight days we were open.

Some of the thoughts and experiences of our mission team members:

"Best experience in Thailand, meeting everyone! Making friends, learning how to speak Thai. I can say this in my sleep: 'Ya die when song lein me, hah' (do you want bifocals?) Ha ha! That was so fun when the patients were amazed knowing/thinking I can speak Thai!! Best memorable moment was dispensing a pair of of glasses for a 7 year old girl, -8.00 and never had glasses before. When I put them on the little girls face, what made me cry was not the smile on her face, it was the expression on her mom's face. Her mom was the one who had the bigger smile. I loved every moment of Thailand and I will miss everyone here a lot." - Dr. Victoria Feng

" The leadership team led us through all situations allowing the talent and determination of the whole team to make it happen! The organization of the clinic and and spirit was the best ever. Our host, in the Thai people made this a most unforgettable experience. This will be the destination of choice for future missions. Thank you Thailand and GOS!!" - Charlie Wolfe, IMS Team Leader

" The last day of clinic, a day of mixed emotions. Looking forward to going home, but hating to leave. I made so many friends here it is really tough to say good bye. It feels so good in my heart to be able to help so many people. They are all so gracious and appreciative and this will be a mission I will never forget." - Steve Bristol, Permastelisa vendor partner

Last day of the Thailand 2008 mission and all the dispensing areas were so fun. The volunteers are all keeping us fun and light & laughing. Dancing and singing and lots of fun hats. Many amazing pictures to remember everyone we exchanged email addresses with the teachers so we can share some of the photos. If we could take the volunteers home, imagine how fun the stores would be!" -Steve, Mission Manager

"Clinic day #8. Everyone looks fantastic and festive wearing their crazy hats. We have been blessed to have helped over 24,000 Thai people. They are very kind to all of us. Each day seemed to get better and better. Our team is most amazing. A couple of people go sick for various reasons and everyone was gracious.. picked up the slack and cared for the sick.
We laughed, sang karaoke, cried and just plain bonded like a team should. It was a pleasure serving this particular team. I made lots of lasting friends and got to know more of those I already know. Thank you Thailand 2008. I will think about my experience here always."- May Thomas, Mission Technical Leader

The evening of the 3rd the team returned to the clinic site where a transformation took place and the hall was beautifully decorated for a dinner and entertainment celebration. We were entertained by the very talented kids who helped translate and assisted us in clinic. They were very talented in singing in English and dancing. There were speeches and we presented some cash from our silent auction for helping referral patients with eye care. The celebration was an outpouring of gratitude and well wishes for our safe return. Everyone left with a gift or two, or three from the Health Ministry, Lions, and the students. Tomorrow, Saturday, we will begin our journey home. -Alan Greggo

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sept. 30 through October 3, 2008 -Clinic Information

There have been no additional posts since Sunday because the hotel computer has been broken and was removed for repair, but we are up and running again.

October 1, 2008
We helped 3540 at clinic and the total helped is up to 18,970. Prescription eyeglasses have become depleted in the most common ranges. Charlie Wolfe and the IMS team continues to do a fabulous job of picking the very best prescription for the patients, even if it is not exactly what they need. Many will be given a quick pick of reading glasses and sunglasses if there is not a best fit for them and their correction is low.

"A 73 year old lady came into dispensing and her son, daughter-in-law, and grandson were all with her. She had to sit down in a chair because she couldn't stand. She put on the glasses that were prescribed for, frowned, and shook her head. A couple of adjustments were attempted on the frame before we discovered the left eye was not clear. Another pair of glasses that matched her prescription in the left eye was picked. She tried them on and broke into a huge smile. You could tell she was able to see. Her son shook the dispensers had saying "Kap Khun Kup" (Thank you)." This is just one of may success stories written in the journal by our team members. It is great to know that we are making a difference in people's lives, one person at a time. There are many who have not had a pair of glasses in 20 years.

"We received our "care packages" today and they were great. A nice reminder of those we care about at home. They gave us an extra measure of energy to finish what we came to do, and love to spread around. One of the student volunteer translators, a young girl named Ploy came up to me this morning and gave me a hug. I saw another student go up and high-five one of my team member. They are great kids and help us immeasurably. When I try to speak Thai, they are patient to teach and only giggle a little. I dispensed glasses to an older person today. When I adjusted them to fit, she hugged me and kissed my cheek. She taught me a new work in Thai... pretty. - Michelle Fowler

Sunday, September 28, 2008

September 28, 2008 Touring Bangkok

On Sunday we toured the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha). The team had a very hot and fun day. Many great pictures to share when we return. In the afternoon the team visited the Chatuchak market where there are many stalls of local merchants as well as larger stores. The team members had fun bargaining with the shop owners for the best price. "Mai dee Paeng Pai, Paeng Pai" means "Not good, to expensive, to expensive." Lunch was served on a very large boat on the Chao Phraya river. The food was excellent. One thing is for sure, the Lions Clubs and Health Ministry are taking good care of the team and no one is going hungry. We are very grateful to our hosts!

Thoughts From Mission Team Members- Sept.27th Clinic Day

"I'm so impressed by the kindness of this people...really blessing..." Anonymous.

The definition of the word "Team" is being written on this mission. I feel so blessed to be a part of the Thailand 2008 second mission team. It does not matter what the situation, there is someone to help out. The extra care and attention taken by each member is unbelievable and the smiles make it very rewarding. God continues to richly bless this team and the work we are doing with the Thai people." -Ross Sherwood, B.C., Canada

Saturday, September 27, 2008

September 27, 2008 Saturday Clinic and GOS Auction

We had another extremely busy day on Saturday with 3300 people helped at clinic and we are steadily approaching our goal of 25,000. In the evening we had dinner and held a silent auction amongst our team to raise money for GOS. We have decided to donate the cash proceeds right here in Thailand to help pay for artificial lenses and care materials to the health ministry so referrals from this mission will get the needed operations. There are many people that have cataracts and other diseases of the eye that blocks their vision and they can not be helped by glasses. I saw one 13 year old girl who was completely blind at the auto refractors. She is one who will need this type of care. We raised over $2200 US to donate to this type of care. Credit and check proceeds will go to the GOS for future mission. Above are a couple of photos from the clinic.
Sunday we will be taking the day to visit Bangkok where we will see the Royal Palace and visit some of the markets.

Friday, September 26, 2008

September 26, 2008, Friday

Clinic was another busy day with close to 2863 people to give the gift of sight to. So far we have helped roughly 8000 people on this mission. Lots of sun and heat each day. That's all for now.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

September 25, 2008, Thursday at clinic

Steve Stockton, Mission Manager wrote:
"Lots of children today, yea!! All smiling, having a good time!"

Randy Rushton, Production Leader, dispensed a beautiful pair of glasses in perfect condition to a lady with a -20.0 prespcription. Wow, was she every happy! A minus 20 that is uncorrected was explained by a doctor as seeing only blured colors and shadows. Imagine having gone through many years without seeing clearly until receiving those glasses.

It's day two of clinic and the team has been amazing despite 85% humidity. Everyone is willing and happy to help out anyone they can!

Communication between such different languages is difficult, but in this "land of many smiles" I am reminded that a smile translates into any language. When we Wai (bowing of the head with hands folded prayer style) the message "you are appreciated," is clear. I danced with a little angel Tuesday night at the welcome reception, in her costume of glittering gold and was captivated by how expressive they are with their hands. My goal in coming half way around the world is to use my hands, too, to show care and bring hope. Michelle Fowler, CSC- Eyemed

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

First day of clinic

It is Wednesday September 24th, 2008 here in Chachengsaou, Thailand and the whole mission team arrived in good health yesterday. Today we completed our first day of clinic and helped 2599 people with dialations, eye health exams and glasses if they were needed. Our hosts, the Thailand Lion's clubs have been fantasic hosts. They have recognized the team many times with a fabulous dinner, traditional dancers, and many speakers from the government and the Lion's club on both days since we have been here. Today the Public Health Minister of Thailand visited the mission for a short ceremony and dedication.

Steve Stockton, Mission Manager wrote that we have had a very successful day with minimal problems. the Lion's club is the best in Thailand. The people are all smiles and very easy to work with. The Military and student translators have been so helpful. We are looking forward to another great day tomorrow.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Here is a photo of some Thai children and they are waiting for the mission to arrive. We are taking a goal to help 26,000 people in our clinic.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pre-Mission Comments

We are twelve days prior to leaving for the second Thailand Mission. The city we will bring the gift of sight to is Chachoengsao, about 80 kilometers from Bangkok. We are observing the political unrest in Bangkok very closely to make a very confident and informed decision on travel into that region. In the mean time please visit the Thailand Mission team page at
http://my.e2rm.com/TeamPage.aspx?Lang=en-CA&TSID=198570 and please consider a donation in the name of this mission. The Thailand Mission team has taken on a fundraising goal of $10,000 and we have reached just 32% of our goal thus far! Your donations are the fuel behind Gift of Sight missions all over the world. Today's donations will bring eye wear to those in need in months to come.
Thank you