Day 10 – Farewell
Day 10 – A farewell message from Bruce and Liz Corneil
It is with gladness and heavy hearts that we started our final work day here in Sri Lanka. We were excited to finish our work on the orphanage but sad at the thought of saying goodbye to the children.
Our day began with a tour of the Muslim school and the female monk’s preschool. Both schools had been beneficiaries of TRIP Canada projects last year and both appeared to be excellently managed. The children at the Muslim school were a particular delight. Mackenzie instantly bonded with the female students, showing how easy it is to make new friends of a different culture.
A Morning of Work
Once we arrived at the work site our objectives became easily apparent. The parging crew of Amalie, Bruce M. and David were determined to finish the back wall. The painting team – Mackenzie, Carol, Coleen, Sue and Liz – were set on completing as much of the painting as possible. Brian, Bruce C. and Janet ably assisted. By 1 pm the goals were achieved: the back wall parged – we now know it is 180 feet – and the painting done. New bedrooms for 12 kids, a sick room, bathrooms and a room for the staff. It looks great!
Now for the fun part, pizza lunch with the children. Cases of coke and sprite were waiting along with 10 pizzas. Needless to say short work was made of that lot and, judging from the smiles, thoroughly enjoyed!
A Moving Ceremony
After lunch the children had a special event planned. Team 12 sat outside on the lovely grounds of the orphanage and were entertained by the children. The quality of the dances and songs were beyond compare. This was followed by gifts and hand made cards being individually presented to our team members
Team 12 reciprocated with gifts of our own to each of the children.
Let the Games Begin
Brian and Coleen had planned a series of games! This included a water balloon toss, sponge tic tac toe and sponge tag. Needless to say the children had a ball. Who knew that sponges could be hurled at such speed or with such accuracy or that Sri Lankan children could run so fast!
A Lasting Memorial
After the games a special event was planned. A white board was to be covered with hand prints of all the children, team members, volunteers and staff. Pots of paint were set out in blue, green, yellow, orange and pink. Each individual in turn, carefully placed their hand in the bowl and then on the mural. The result was stunning! Little hands, medium hands and large hands all together as a lasting tribute to a very successful project. The mural will be permanently on display in the new orphanage addition.
One Final Farewell
Before we boarded our vans and said our goodbyes, the children had all of us join hands and sing and dance in a moving Sri Lankan farewell. It was very touching and proved to be a fitting end to a wonderful last day. None of us will forget our new friends both the young and old!
And our memories….
While we sat in the garden for our wonderful last dinner we each shared our best memory of our time here.
Carol: “This last afternoon with the kids, it was the epitome of love.”
Liz: “The kids are amazing! They are well behaved, polite and caring. My favourite memory is of the older children looking after the little ones.”
Mackenzie: “My favourite memory was playing with the kids.”
Brian: “When we were making cement I had to turn the outside hose on and off. Each time I would spray some children and they would burst out laughing. It never failed to amuse them and me.”
Bruce C.: “My favourite memory is the love and kindness of the Sri Lankan people. From the Canadapura staff and children to everyone that I met. They are the true jewels of this country.”
Coleen: “The kids …. wow…I have no words to describe having met them. They have so very little and they are so happy and so loving.”
Amalie: “My favourite part of this trip was the day I spent parging the stairwell with Sampath. I was having a frustrating morning with no mud sticking on the wall. As I got more and more frustrated Sampath realized what was going on and said to me “no problem, try again.”
David: “Great team of volunteers making a difference in the lives of these beautiful children.”
Bruce M.: “While there are many people in need of our support, Sri Lanka is on the move, more tourists, a better economy and happy people.”
Janet: “For me it always about the people – the very special kids that we come to care about, the wonderful Sri Lankan people who support us so much and our volunteers. I love to watch them become a team and fall in love with this place and its people just like I did 11 years ago.”