"This is my favorite picture from the trip. It warms my heart every time I look at . His little smile reminds me that there are kind little souls all over this world that you can connect with by simply being there and caring for another human being, even if you don't speak the same language."
"My experience serving the people of NAN, Thailand was an amazing time and I'm looking forward to going back. These trips are always fun and so rewarding. I learned so much from being able to serve in Nan. The people were so thankful for us being there. We went to Thailand to serve these people but I feel like I was the one being served. I recommend to anyone who has the desire to go on a trip like this, to go. It will be an experience that you will never forget."
"The whole experience of going to Thailand with Thai Smiles reminded me that we are fortunate to live in America and have the education, wealth and resources that are available to us. I am retired and cannot imagine living on 800 Thai Bhat, that is equal to 25 USD per month… that is what one 80-year-old woman is living on. She was so grateful that we pulled a tooth for her because to get to Nan to have the tooth pulled would have cost 300 Thai Bhat just to take the bus to Nan, only about a 45-minute trip, where there is a dentist".
"Going to Thailand and serving the people there was an experience I had wanted for a very long time. It was amazing to see how well our group worked together to get so much dental work done for very deserving children and parents. There are no words to explain the the happiness and fullness in my heart as I was serving people that have not had the same opportunities to take care of their health and dental health as I have been able to do my entire life. I was very humbled by this experience. Many of the Thai children were scared for the work we had to do on them, being that dental work was something many of the children had not experienced, but they were extremely brave and were so thankful at the end of their appointment. We often got a "bow" after excusing them from our chair to show us how thankful they were to have our help. Then of course the hundreds of pictures with the most precious faces and fingers holding the peace sign, it just doesn't get any better than that....if only I had enough wall space to frame and hang them all on the wall. I can't wait to go back!!!"
"Daphne and I have been assisting some of the poorer schools in northern Thailand since founding Thainitiative in 2012. The Thai Smiles 2017 collaboration has made the biggest impact of any project we’ve done so far. The dentists and volunteers were fantastic. We’ve always worked with the locals to make sure we address their needs and the support from Dr. Gaan, Dr. Mimi and the whole Nan Department of Health was the key to the huge success of the Thai Smiles mission. I look forward to supporting Dr. Larsen and his team on future trips and I’m honored to have played a small roll in forging a new organization to assist these wonderful people."
"Thailand is very far from my home in the United States. It takes a solid day of airline travel to get there. But I never felt more welcome in any place in my life. On my recent trip to this beautiful country with Thai Smiles I was able to meet and become friends with many people including professional dental colleagues, local support staff, and of course patients I had the pleasure to treat. Thais are a warm and friendly people, quick to smile and laugh, but many lack access to even basic dental care. It was very enriching personally and professionally to give my time and use my skills to help. Those of us who worked side by side share a deep bond that grows out of important experiences. And for the adventurous traveler there are also many discoveries, both of culture and of nature, to be made. In fact, there are too many highlights from my visit to list! I will go back many times to continue the work I started with my friends to help our new friends in Thailand."
"I had the opportunity to provide dental treatment to the people of Nan (a small province in northern Thailand) with Thai Smiles. It was a great experience working with wonderful people both from the US and Thailand. The patients were also very nice and thankful. To me, it was a memorable time there. Hope to see you again soon."
I arranged daily schedule for all of the dental projects in Santisuk district and I also followed through to ensure a smooth overall process. I was an interpreter between foreign dentists (English speaking) and patients. Sometimes I performed dental procedures, including basic treatment such as fillings, scaling (deep cleanings), extraction and fluoride application.
"A life changing experience!
I gained more hope for humanity after working with a group of people who go out of their way to help those who would have gone without.
Healthcare is such a basic need that is gifted in industrialized nations and to be able to share that gift with developing nations filled my heart with deep gratitude."
"The week I spent in Thailand was one of the most rewarding and amazing experiences of my life. Thai Smiles gave me the opportunity to experience Thailand in a way that few people are able to. Being part of the Thai Smiles mission gave me the opportunity to take in the culture and work one on one with the people of Thailand. I was able to learn and experience by assisting doctors from both the United States and Thailand, in a setting that was very different from what I am used to. The support we gave each other, even through the language barrier was nothing short of phenomenal. From the beginning the entire Thai Smiles team had a united goal and it was evident very early that even differences in culture was not going to stop our team from completing it. The respect between the entire team was truly amazing and any issues that surfaced were quickly solved with smiles and bows.
Getting the opportunity to be part of the Thai Smiles team was such an honor. We were able to help so many in need and I am grateful for the opportunity. I am humbled by the experience and I truly believe, I personally benefited far more than anyone I was able to help."
"It was a great moment, joining with the ThaiSmiles foundation in Thailand last Febuary. I'm a government dentist, working in the southern part of Thailand. This was my first time working with foreign dentists , dental hygenists and dental assistants. There were some different practices, lifestyle, and culture, but we all had one purpose; to better the oral health of the people we were serving. Thank you to all you guys here and also to the ThaiSmiles and ThaInitiative foundation for such a great thing you do for the Thai people."
"My time spent helping the Thai people will go down as one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The Thai people are extremely warm, friendly, humble, considerate and compassionate. I don't recall any kids that I worked on not giving me a "Y" before leaving. The "Y" is reverently putting your palms together and bowing your head, a gesture of gratitude and respect. There were even some very little ones, who were scared as they had never experienced a dental visit, that still gave the "Y" and smiled through tears. I greatly appreciated working with both the US and the Thai team. All members were top notch workers and great company to hang out with. The country of Thailand, along with it's culture are truly beautiful spectacles to behold."