Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April 23: Visiting a new project, working hard in the heat, and playing with the local kids

After our breakfast we piled into our vans, but today on the way to site, we stopped off at the local Muslim School just down the road. This is another project that TRIP/DWC is working on right now. The grounds are very neat and tidy, and there are a lot of kids at the school. We visited all of the class rooms to take a look at the potential work to be done. Their buildings definitely need a coat of paint and new playground along with a slew of other things like science lab equipment, books, a library, etc. Looks like another great project!

We then headed off to site and got right to work. Most of the team was working on painting the exterior temple wall. It was all hands on deck to try and get it done as fast as possible. The heat was SO intense. We had some nice thick paint today and it was amazing how fast we started to move along. At 10am we stopped for tea time with the Monk who had arranged young fresh coconuts. With quick and skilled knife action they were opened up for us so we grabbed a straw and started slurping our fresh coconut water. Tasted amazing in the heat.

Shortly afterwards we headed over to the school for a presentation from the school principal and the District Manger of Education. It was great to see all the kids, parents and teachers come together to celebrate the school. After the ceremony, we were served sweet Sri Lankan tea and a massive table full of homemade treats. They tasted great!

Before heading back we to work we stopped to watch the school kids play a couple of New Years games in the school yard. Games included: blow up the balloon as fast as you can till it pops, sack races, and put the eye on the elephant while blindfolded (their version of pin the tail on the donkey). It was great to see the kids laughing and having fun with their parents.

Soon we were back off to work painting the wall again. After a quick lunch break the Monk gave us a tour of the temple. The temple is 110 years old and the inside is covered with very detailed and well preserved wall paintings explaining the life story of Buda. Amazing!

At one point we did run out of paint so we all moved over to the new building. The final layer of concrete was being poured inside today - Amalie and Kristian were helping the workers hand mix the concrete. Back breaking work in this heat. It's coming along really well though. The walls are all painted, lights are wired and installed, the doors are almost ready for installation and the windows just need a final sanding before they get a last coat of stain. It looks great. We worked away on sanding and staining the windows. Our extra paint finally arrived so we worked a little longer today in order to finish the outside wall. All in all, another great day with a lot accomplished. Looking forward to pizza tonight at Moonstone with the group. Can't believe we are leaving soon.

Alison Lacon
DWC Participant
Sri Lanka, April 2013

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