Friday, April 26, 2013

April 26: The final push and final farewell

The last day came far too quickly. The work was winding down, but our spirits were high, and we realized our time with the local team was coming to the end. The monk's niece had died tragically on Monday, and the guys had been at the funeral the night before. As we drove into the site on the last day, our driver Aruna muted the music in the van out of respect for her and her family. Despite the sombre start, we got at it very quickly, finishing the cleaning and painting of the exterior and interior of the temple wall. Mud was still being made by the new quarters and being ferried in to the masons finishing the floor. When we looked in on our almost completed room, we noticed the monk, the podi monk Kosipa and the boys had laid down traditional mats, laid a table and had erected a small shrine in the corner. The freshly yellow painted walls were adorned with flowers and the newly installed fans were running. It looked beautiful. We had invited the boys to join us for lunch and eat we did. We handed out little gifts to the local team and thanked them for putting up with us ;) , as they do every year. The let us learn and make mistakes, taught us well and laughed as we often fumbled our way through things, always allowing us to figure it out.

We were given the opportunity to ask the monk some questions about his calling and temple life, a rare and honest insight into the goings on in our little village. As were were presented with out certificates from the temple, the monk handed us all Sri Lankan tea and a key chain and sent us home with plenty of buffalo curd and bananas. We made out like bandits.

We returned home to pack, shower and head to Ketakalawatta for our proper good bye with the boys. The monks snacks, some beer and of course a little Arrak, we sat, and sang and some even some danced. And as the light faded and we piled into our vans and headed back to Tangalle for a great evening prepared by the amazing team at Moonstone and Raelene our amazing hostess.

It went far too fast.

Amalie Bruun
DWC Team Leader
Sri Lanka, April 2013

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