Ms Hailey Grant
Dental Assistant, Vietnam Field Trip 2014
"This experience changed my life. More importantly, it changed the way I look at my life."
My name is Hailey and this was my first time traveling to Vietnam to volunteer.
Some things stand out more than others, the faces of the beautiful children are mostly a blur. The volume of people that came through those hospital doors in Long An still astounds me. The smiles on the faces of the hardworking team around me is something I will never forget. I managed to look up a few times and see the VVP14 team working harder than I have ever seen human beings work, and catch the eyes of another volunteer and share an exhausted smile.
"The sense of kinship I felt with every single volunteer on the trip is something that still warms my heart. It truly is like a family. "
I think that without this bond it would not have been as easy to stand there and help people who live on 15 cents a day. You need passionate people around you so you can be there for the orphans who have literally not got anyone in their lives to rely on.
We managed to raise over $2000AUD on the spot for some blind people that came through, as well as fix what we could of their teeth. We also had the privilege of meeting a gorgeous 3 year old girl who was very happy to have some dental work done, and the Eye Team upstairs also helped her with her eyesight. When we were finished she was jumping up and down giving everyone high fives! I'm so glad I had the opportunity to be there and witness these things. It was such a different situation to work in compared to Australia, but we all got over that pretty quickly and did what we needed to do.
I experienced so many different emotions during this time, but for me, nothing compares to the last day. After packing up all our dental supplies and organising them ready for next year, a bus drove us to a temple so we could donate food packages to poor families in that province. These people, young and old, were so thankful, even with the language barrier it was easy to see that they were so grateful for us helping them. It was truly heartwarming to see.
"The whole trip has opened my eyes to a less fortunate way of life, and made me more aware of how I want to give back to the world."
I am so thankful that I am in a position to help people less fortunate than myself.
Until next year!