Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April 20: Day 2 - Visiting Work Sites & Meeting Sri Lankans

After a great dinner the jetlagged group enjoyed a long sleep – for most anyway – and awoke to a beautiful day. The plan for the day was to understand the work ahead and how it would help others while gaining a deeper appreciation for this country and its people.

We visited all three worksites with the biggest highlight meeting Sri Lankans. The children at the Muslim School gladly abandoned their academic studies to play cricket with the volunteers, say hello and learn our names. It was very inspiring to meet the female monk and understand the difficult conditions under which she has been living while providing for community needs.

Then at Palathaduwa Temple all were warmly welcomed by the resident Buddhist Monk. As a special gift, he arranged for a guest Monk with excellent English skills to share the basic precepts of the teachings of Buddha and the role of meditation. It was insightful and interesting both from a personal perspective and to gain a greater understanding of the Sri Lankan people.

A visit to Ketakalawatta, the tsunami village built by TRIP Canada volunteers and donors was very moving. Especially for some of the returning volunteers who helped build the homes. It has changed so much with families really living in the homes, making alterations, growing gardens and really making the home their own. The team was treated to a Sri Lankan lunch made by the women of the village and, in smaller groups, invited into their homes for tea.

A torrential downpour brought our visits to a very wet conclusion! And, in spite of the weather, we had a fabulous dinner at the guest house where some of the volunteers are staying. Lots of lightening, fun and laughter. Especially when Ron asked when the first pay cheque would arrive.

A good day and night. Everyone is looking forward to getting to work on Tuesday.

Janet McKelvey
DWC/TRIP Canada Team Leader
Sri Lanka: April 2015

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