Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April 18th: Arrival in Tangalle, Sri Lanka.

It all began Sunday when we set off after breakfast to visit the 3 houses we were going to be working on. Those who were new had no clue what they were going to be doing but it looked pretty intimidating. Those who had done this before were pretty nonchalant and a bit superior about things. However the day of reckoning coming on Monday would take care of that.

One Team Leader, Amalie Bruun, was sadly left stuck in London as no planes were flying due to the volcanic eruption and ash cloud in over the U.K. She was not happy with this at all but powerless to do anything. This is sad as she is real live wire. A visual delight as well. On to the visitation. Each family was so welcoming and we learned about all the work we were going to be doing. Some old friends were visited giving everyone an opportunity to see all the wonderful progress that has been made and catch up with the families’ news. Next stop was the incredible village created by Developing World Connections and Trip Canada over the past 5 years and words cannot describe the community spirit that welcomed us. People poured out their homes to welcome everyone with pride to show off new additions and tell of the improvements they had made in their homes and their lives. Ketakallawatta gave a wonderful sense of a lively community and friendships forged through working together . A real happening village full of life and fun.

Back to Palm Paradise hotel for lunch and a big group went to see the Rock Temple in the afternoon. What an amazing temple built and carved entirely out of rock which was started around 1250 AD. Incredible paintings in room after room of scenes from Buddhist history. Huge statues of Buddha lying on his side at each level as we climbed accompanied by monkeys approximately 200 steps. We could hear the monks chanting in the monastery. Led by Yogi Ian and Ron we communed with nature sitting at the top of the rock above the temple.

Back home the competition was fierce for the champion of Ping Pong. Seems that the venerable Bruce has a challenger in Steve who thinks he can do one better and dethrone Bruce. This is not likely as Bruce is too cagey but the competition will continue and we will report. Darts and chess as well!!!!! More competing and arguing about who was the best. Not good to identify anyone yet.

Developing World Connections Participant
Hilary Bruun

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