Monday, June 8, 2009

June 1st: Saying Good-bye.

Our last day of work! Some people got up early to go to the harbour and buy fresh fish for dinner and others got up a little later than the normal work day time (7:00 am wake up call instead of 6:30 am) and then we all headed off to the temple for a small ceremony. We were surprised and honored to see that the monk had arranged an impressive display of the Sri Lankan and Canadian flags flanking handmade banners over the wall specifically thanking us (the Developing World Connections University Student Group) for our work at the temple. We took several pictures with the monk and the wall (complete except for a couple of coats of paint and some elephant statues) and then were welcomed again into the monk’s home, where he had obviously gone to great lengths to give us an amazing send-off. He had innumerable printed and laminated pictures of us posted on the wall, decorative mats on the floor and an elaborately arranged table full of fresh fruit, cookies, cake, tea, soft drinks and flowers. Everyone sure will miss temple tea times (of course not to mention the monk’s pure, basic and wholesome happiness and selfless generosity). After a ceremony identical to our first day at the temple, when we were offered special while string bracelets for spiritual protection against evils, the monk presented to us beautiful wooden bird carvings (each individual one different), a certificate for our work and a thank-you letter he wrote to the group.

We were very sad to leave the temple and say goodbye to the monk. But, after tea time, we said our final goodbyes and walked up from the temple to the house where we worked to help with plastering. Unfortunately, a small boy who had charmed many of the group members had gone to the hospital sick, but we were still able to see the father of the man whose house we were helping with. Finally, we headed to the Trades Training Facility.

With Anil and Ruwan, I dropped off the group so they could finish pouring concrete for the foundation. Then, while the three of us did some errands necessary to get out of the way with before the cultural tour, the group 100 % finished pouring the concrete for the foundation! I am so happy and proud of the progress that the group made at all three worksites. To finish the day, most people had a few drinks with the local workers and just took it easy at the Trades Training Facility, playing guitar and drums and also singing. Finally, we all went back to Wavy Ocean.

Most people went to the beach for a final swim and soccer/volleyball session but some started preparing dinner. The fish and lobster (Ruwan was able to find us lobster to cook our selves) were quite time consuming to prepare, but absolutely worth it. Chef Hilda was in charge of all the sous-chefs as we prepared the different seafood (sear fish, tuna and lobster) and Anil, Ruwan and Rukman (Wavy Ocean manager) came over to eat. However, none of the guests (and none of us) anticipated a 10:30 pm start to dinner! After (and before) dinner, everyone packed up all of their stuff to get ready for our departure in the morning. Cultural trip, here we come!

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