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A New Smile AND A New Name – Sagaing, Myanmar

A New Smile AND A New Name – Sagaing, Myanmar

Yesterday was the last cleft palate day, and today is the last cleft lip day for our team. This has been an amazing experience. The Burmese people are the nicest people you’ll ever meet. AfS does outstanding work, our team has become close friends, and seeing the impact on kids’ lives has been overwhelming at times. Take yesterday’s last case. He is one of our favorites of all the kids. He laughs and smiles all the time.

His story, however, is tragic. His mom is only 18 or so, and his dad left, before he was born, to work in China. When the dad heard about the birth defect, he wouldn’t come see his son and is no longer part of the family. The mom fishes or sells fish to make money. Grandma brought him to the mission. His name, Phoo Htoo, means something like Strange Boy, named that because of the cleft. Look at him now!

We found out today that this baby never had a real name – the family didn’t officially give him one. Burmese don’t really have family names, so this is the only name he knew. Burmese name their kids based on the day of the week they were born. So, with the help of our Mission Director, Sophie, who is from Burma and speaks Burmese, we found out the day of the week he was born and came up with Ye Yint Htun – Brave Success. The grandma loves it, and we were a part of giving this precious child a new face along with a wonderful new name!!!

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