Update #5 from Sri Lanka

Thursday, April 23rd

It seems that many of us felt that this was the most challenging work day yet. Was it because of the crazy hot temperatures or the fact that day 3 fell on hump day? Who knows? But just for today, there will be no mention of parging or pounding or painting or lifting or measuring or cutting or sanding or sifting or sweeping! Because it turns out that, even in the midst of the most gruelling heat and hard work, some fun and fabulous and interesting things unfolded today at all three work sites.

Team 1 had a rather fun physical day, starting when they took their morning break. With the beautiful Indian Ocean acting as a backdrop to their worksite, and a makeshift sifter, surrounded by piles of sand and gravel sharing the field with the school playground, many of the students started a ball game during their recess break. The volunteers couldn’t resist joining in the game. Richard made up some rules, and even though Blair was not sure of the point system, she felt like a winner with all of the children surrounding her. By early afternoon, the children had left for home, and out came the IPod and speakers. Bruce was dancing while prepping concrete and our Sri Lankan partners were all about playing their shovel guitars. It was an energetic end to a very hot day!

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Team 2 spent the day working at the Preschool where no children were in house due to New Years. But other creatures were very much in attendance and made for an interesting day! A poisonous snake was found sleeping behind some bricks that were being moved. Since our Sri Lankan friends will not kill any animals, they painstakingly captured it while it tried to bite them! Later they released the snake into a field. A toad then hopped out from the same area…it was apparently a nice damp and somewhat cool place to live. Many geckos scurried about as the walls were being painted and even a monkey or six paid a visit!

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Team 3 had the opportunity to say “goodbye” to Sajini, the lovely young Sri Lankan lady who is attending university thanks to a TRIP Canada scholarship. Sajini was so gracious, expressing with such passion her gratitude for the support she has been given and for the beautiful new laptop that she will proudly be taking to her new school. We also heard about the “hazing” like orientation that new students go through when they start University. Possibly there is a bit of nervousness combined with excitement for Sajini, but she did not show it. The heat and humidity created some interesting fashion looks today…George’s shirt appeared to be wetter than if he had worn it into a shower and Carolyn’s curls really took on a life of their own. But for a day that was filled with challenge and hard work, all three teams managed to pull together, finding moments of laughter and play.

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Our toughest day so far became one of our best!

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