Day 5 – Blog by Coleen Beaton
In this blog post, Coleen Beaton recaps Team 12’s fifth day in Sri Lanka.
Our day began with another amazing breakfast prepared by Raelene and her fabulous crew.
Raelene, the owner of Moonstone Villas, is so much more than that. She arranges many extras for us and provides a wealth of information on any given topic ranging from, but not limited to, tipping, fashion, things to do and other restaurants to try. She also coordinates and participates in a variety of volunteer programs.
Today the group was split in the volunteer activities in which we participated. While half the group headed back to the work site, myself and part of the group went to work at the glasses clinic in the nearby village. Clearly, a Canadian eyeglass company, ships reading glasses and sunglasses here to Sri Lanka (and many other developing countries) to be distributed to those that need them.
We arrive and there are approximately 60 folks of varying ages waiting to be tested and receive their glasses. The day runs smoothly with approximately 200 people receiving sunglasses and/or reading glasses. One gentleman, a reporter for a local newspaper had written articles for years never realizing that he needed the strongest glasses available in this program. Later, as he took our picture it was evident how he struggled to focus on us properly. He had not yet realized he could put on his new glasses!
It was lovely to see the families arriving together in multi-generational units. This is a common occurrence in Sri Lanka.
After leaving this clinic, we move on to the another program near and dear to Raelene’s heart, the veterinary truck clinic that moves from town to town to spay/neuter the feral dogs as well as dogs that are brought in by their owner. The clinic performs approximately 50 procedures a day and the program has been very successful in bringing down the population of feral dogs in Sri Lanka.
Back at Canadapura, it was much quieter with only half the team there. I am sure they missed us but the progress continues. The two rooms we have been plastering are almost done and when completed will provide a home for 4 boys and a sick room. The painting continues on the other bedrooms and library – and will keep us busy for some time. Time to move outside and start plastering the wall – lots of fun in the dense heat and humidity.
The early afternoon was spent visiting the original village built by TRIP Canada for families who lost their homes in the 2004 tsunami. We were served a delicious traditional lunch by one of the families. The village is beautiful and the houses are a long way from the mud huts in which some of them were living before the wave swept them away. The appreciation the citizens of this village have for Janet and her team is quite evident. They are family.
Our visit also included the village temple and school that TRIP’s donors and volunteers rebuilt in previous years. The monk received us warmly and took us on a tour of the grounds which included a very old temple.
Day 5 ended with an outstanding visit to a wonderful new restaurant located 50 feet from the ocean. Our chef worked topless and his food is delicious.