Monday, January 19, 2009

First 2009 Volunteer Group goes to Sri Lanka.

January 10 - January 24

Team Leader: Raelene Shea.

Ralene writes:

Our group of 13 arrived in Tangalle , Sri lanka on Monday January 12 after a long flight, and enjoyable overnight in Singapore, and a beautiful 6 hour drive through the Sri Lankan countryside.

As always, the Palm Paradise Cabanas, our home for 2 weeks, is outstanding accommodation in an idyllic setting of beach, palm trees, and flowers.

Our work on the trades training facility building started January 13 with digging out the floor in preparation for pouring a 6 inch bed of cement for the carpentry equipment to be housed on. In 30 + C weather with high humidity, we must take frequent breaks, drink lots of water, and generally pace ourselves. Things are progressing well and tomorrow , January 16, we will begin pouring the cement and also will begin digging the foundation for the next building. We are all becoming expert in digging, shoveling, wheel- barrowing, and having lots of un at the same time. Fortunately we are being directed by our Sri Lankan partners, Anil and Ruwan, and the local masons who really do know how to build Sri Lankan style.

Some of our group are representatives of the Kamloops Tangalle Friendship Committee and also School district 73 and Kamloops Daybreak Rotary Club. We have all been meeting with our counterparts in Tangalle to establish what further ways the City of Kamloops sectors can support development in Tangalle.

In short, we have all been very busy. However, we are having a lot of fun also. We have been to a tea ceremony at the Tangalle Funeral society, visit today a Buddhist temple, and attend a birthday party for another of our friends here, Ranjit.

This weekend we will view the giant turtles laying eggs, visit the wildlife preserve, shop at the local market, and have a free day of beach time also.

For those of you thinking of taking a trip with us some time, Sri Lanka is outstanding in beauty, and hospitality and a wonderful experience.

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