Last Day in Sri Lanka!
LAST DAY – Celebrating Together
The day is hot and beautiful as Team 11 sets out together to inspect all the worksites. For the last 10 days we were divided into three teams rotating daily through all locations so it is very exciting to have a chance to take a good look around and see all that has been accomplished.
First stop the Muslim School where the crew worked to “parge” the walls both inside and outside the library and computer lab, put down floors, finish ceiling, cleaned up and built walk ways around the outside. The rock is a special tribute to tripcanada designed by Christine. The building will be completed by our workers by the end of May.
It was hard to tell what was more exciting for the kids in the neighbouring Muslim community – ice cream for everyone or the fabulous new playground with swings, slide and teeter totter.
The teams worked hard at the temple pre-school cleaning, painting and “redecorating” a community meeting room and the children’s classroom – and donated some new much needed school supplies. Many hours were dedicated to “parging” the new kitchen building. The children were dressed in their best and patiently waited through a thank you speech and tea for the volunteers provided by their mothers and then ran outside thrilled by their new playground.
On to the peaceful and beautiful location at Palathaduwa Temple a new community gathering and worship room is rising from the hard red mud. Is the team celebrating or rebelling at yet another photo?
This site started with a few holes in the ground and it was back breaking work to dig, build a complete foundation and support columns and start to brick the walls. At the same time, the Monk’s meeting room was re-painted for the May full moon festival.
The Monk’s delight in the contribution by our volunteers was evident with the very serene and meaningful blessing ceremony and handing out of personal certificates and gifts to each volunteer.
Our evening started with a thank you party for the 20 men who have worked beside us, laughed with us and taught us many new skills and a deep appreciation for this country and its people. Kristian is getting a last lesson in the art of dancing from Priyantha and the party ended with a heart-felt sharing of the Canadian and Sri Lankan national anthems. We returned to Moonstone Villas, where we were treated to a show by native country dancers and a delicious farewell dinner.
Team 11 has left a lasting mark at the places they built and made a difference in hundreds of lives enriching the opportunities for education, worship and play. We are forever connected to these people and each other sharing many unforgettable memories. Some captured in a few comments:
“I have reached a new low dressing each day trying to decide – what is the least dirty thing I can put on!”
“We are lucky to have so much. But at the same time it blinds us from what is really important in life.”
“I have found muscles I never knew I had – both from working hard and laughing. We laughed so much I feel it right down in my belly!”
“It is quite astonishing that while I came to make a difference to others, I feel that the life that has changed the most is my own.”
Thank you Team 11 for making a difference in hundreds of lives.