The little girl who said “I love you”

I fell sick on the last day of the mission. That was yesterday. Sore throat and blocked nose.

It wasn’t too bad, but I was afraid of being contagious, so I didn’t want to go sit with the patients. I was thinking it would be really inconvenient for them to get the flu while recovering from surgery.

But as I walked past the ward, the little girl patient at the nearest bed reached out and touched me lightly on the arm.

I smiled at her and said “hi”.

She said, “You’re pretty.”

Surprised, my eyes widened even as I thanked her and told her she’s pretty, too. She was the first patient I met who could speak English and who initiated a conversation.


Operation Smile Mission Dhaka


Of course, I found out later that she can only say and understand a limited number of words and very short sentences but it’s still remarkable.

Ruijina is only 12 but she’s a very confident young lady who looks you in the eyes and speaks her heart.

I couldn’t bear to walk away because she kept looking at me with so much affection, so I sat with her and tried to chat with her but I think she didn’t understand me much. She just kept nodding and smiling without answering my questions. So I opened my notebook and drew pictures with her.

This is what she drew:


The flower at the bottom is the national flower of Bangladesh, the Shapla (Water Lily).

Operation Smile Mission Dhaka


When she drew the heart, she said, “love”, then wrote my name inside the heart, copying it from my name tag.

Operation Smile Mission Dhaka


How sweet was that? I sat with her till it was time for her discharge and she said, “I love you. I miss you.”

How could anyone not be totally charmed?

There wasn’t much to do on the last day (for me). There were only six surgeries, after which we packed up the hospital.

It’s been a really great experience. I can’t wait for the next mission, wherever it will be. We go home to Singapore today. Will do a few more posts about the mission to wrap up after I’m home.

Gotta rest and catch up on all the lost sleep, get rid of the flu bug first. Thanks for following my blogs on this mission and for supporting Operation Smile.

4 thoughts on “The little girl who said “I love you”

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    @Sheylara: Job well done! Its been an informative and serious read, yet somehow still entertaining:) Hope you did get the rest you deserve and defeat the flug bug… had me beat for a while too:P

  2. Avatar


    You met onf of God’s precious gifts. That young lady is brave and will have a better future.

    I trust you have a greater appreciation for the life you lead most days.

    This series has been inspiring!

    Great writing and photos!

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