Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 15: Arrived and Reuiniting with old friends!

By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around, all 12 volunteer's from Trip Canada had finally gathered in hot and very humid Tangalle. Taking the rest of the day to unpack, acclimatize and relax, the group spent the day at our hosts lodging Moonstone Villas. For many of the group, this was their first return to Sri Lanka and Tangalle in many years, so improvements in road and general infrastructure were of great interest. Arriving on New Year's Day, most businesses were closed, so the group had to wait to see Tangalle in all its glory!

Bruce, Amalie, Anil, Ruwan and Raelene sat down and went through the tasks to be completed for the next 2 weeks. Being on the ground provides you with updated site information and we learned that all construction at the school had been completed, BUT, there was a ton of walls - interior and exterior - that required painting to complete the project. The temple was where the bulk of the work and as such team would be located. A new cooking, eating and storage facility had been built on the temple grounds for the monk and his students. Our task was to finish plastering the lower parts of the walls, mix and pour the floors, finish the floors and paint. We also discussed possible future projects, for either the end of this trip or next year's group. These included the female monk's facility and primary school in Tangalle.

After a great first night's welcome curry buffet at Moonstone, everyone tumbled into bed, happy to lay in one after the long journey. Raelene and her amazing staff made sure all the comforts of home were provided and everyone pretty much slept through the night.

Monday dawned hot as we met for our first group breakfast and went through some house keeping details. T-shirts were handed out, general housekeeping reviewed and we set off to tour our work sites, the homes of Kal, Somaseelie and Vijay, Ketakallwatta and have a great meal prepared for us by Senevee's wife Shamalie at the Community centre. The day was full of happy, tearful reunions, notably for David Meyer and Vijay. Everyone in Palathaduwa seem healthy and happy and maybe a little "tired" after the New Year's festivities.

We returned to Moonstone eager to cool off and catchup on news from home. David, Danny, Penny and Jamie headed off to the Rock Temple with Depaul. All four raved about the view from the top and enjoyed the view after the 561 steps to the top!

Dinner at Palm Paradise was another happy reunion of old friends and a great time. And by the time our tuks tuks arrived, all were ready for bed and off we went into the darkness in our favourite form of transportation.

The real work begins tomorrow.

Amalie Bruun (TRIP Canada)
DWC Team Leader
Sri Lanka, April 2013

No comments: