Day 3 – Reflections from Volunteer Brian MacEachern
by Brian MacEachern
In Sri Lanka, the temperature is normally 28 to 31 degrees all year round. To welcome the frozen Canadians, the temperature has been cranked up to 37 degrees. Also, the humidity was pushed to the top of the scale. Perfect for our first two days of work!
The first day, I personally drank 5 litres of water during our 5 hours of work on the addition to the orphanage. When we got back to the hotel I then drank 3 beers. Perfect- all that liquid and not once during the day did I need to use the washroom. Completely soaked at the end of the day.
On Monday I decided I needed a massage. The hotel owner booked a massage and a tuk-tuk to pick me up at 4:15 for my 4:30 massage. The parking area is near the main road and I decided to wait there. I stayed about 20 feet from the road and waited patiently. At about 4:15 a tuk-tuk drove into the parking area. His English was excellent. ”Yes” was all he knew. I asked are you supposed to pick me up? Yes! Do you know where the massage place is? Yes! I hopped in. Five minutes later we stopped in the middle of town. I asked where to go? Yes is the reply. Were you supposed to pick me up? Yes! Where do I go? Yes! You better take me back to the hotel. Yes! Once back I leave without paying, walk up to the hotel and I am immediately accosted by another (driver?) with perfect English this time, Yes! Finally this one mentions Janet and off I go. (PS: the massage in a hut on the rocks by the Indian Ocean made it all worthwhile.)
Frogs, frogs everywhere. Bruce C. and Coleen report being attacked from down under while sitting the toilet. Cool, what fun!!
Swimming in the Indian Ocean is very simple. You go to the beach and sit at the shore with your toes in the water. In comes a huge wave heading right for you. Liz thinks that maybe we should move back. As the wave grows bigger and bigger, husband Bruce replies not to worry. The wave engulfs everyone and pushes powerfully up the beach somersaulting us with it. Everyone then stops and as the wave retreats we are all dragged back down the beach into the ocean. Maybe next time we will listen to Liz!
Our work day felt a bit easier – not quite as hot and most had a better sleep. We finished floors. The paint team is doing a great job even though they rejected my offer of advice. Bruce C. and I also invented a new way to sift sand. All TRIP volunteers will be very envious when we pass the secret on. We also finished the floor in the last room and this job takes the whole team working together.
Today, Carol realized she has just one blue dress for after work and that the rest won’t want to see her every night in the same outfit. At breakfast when Janet began an important message re the expectations for the day as well as future activities, Carol is so upset by the one and only blue dress that she feels obligated to discuss it with Amalie causing great distress all around. It is finally decided that after work today she will go shopping with Coleen. I’m sure it will be a beautiful sari. And I am also sure no one will notice if I wear the same outfit every night.
It continues to be a joy getting to know the children – a bit more each day. We are planning to get some stuff to play with as this week is a holiday for them.
Now we are sitting around the pool drinking wine and beer. Susan declares that she doesn’t drink beer (as she raises the glass containing beer). We are patiently waiting for dinner. Tonight is pizza night and we are looking forward to it!