There are no words to describe a mother’s anguish knowing her child is born with a birth defect like a cleft lip and/or palate. Although it is more common in developing countries, these young mothers gracefully accept their child’s condition, knowing that their child’s future will be forever altered and affected by their condition.

In the wee hours on Sunday July 23rd, the Myanmar Rotaplast team boarded a plane from San Francisco to Yangoon, Myanmar and counted boxes. There are 35 in total for this mission. And they each take on a life of their own. The airport staff with Rotaplast volunteers sort through each box, weighing them to ensure they meet the weight requirements for the flight.

These boxes are heavy weighing over 1,500 lbs. They carry surgical tools and gowns, computers and printers, medication and supplies, oxygen masks and cameras, a defibrillator and an autoclave (sterilizing equipment). All necessary tools to ensure the Rotaplast team can provide the necessary surgeries to those local residents with cleft lips, cleft palates and/or burns. Upon arrival in Yangoon, Myanmar  the team ensures that no boxes are missing.

All 35 boxes are loaded onto a truck to be transported to Naypyidaw,  Myanmar, a 5 hour drive from Yangoon.

Over 5,000 volunteer hours accumulate during a 10 day mission. The team pictured here consist of medical volunteers (surgeons, anesthesiologists, pediatricians and nurses) and non-medical volunteers (mission director, administrative and patient assistants) from Myanmar, Canada, United States, Argentina and Holland.

Not only do these boxes that have traveled across the globe to carry medical supplies,  they also are dream creators and hope generators. They bring tears of happiness and eliminate daily life struggles. They carry a promise for a better tomorrow.

So tomorrow, we begin…