Wednesday – Blessings, lessons and new building challenges

The day began with the Canadians arriving at the Temple we had been working on for the last couple of days to bring it closer to its former glory. The Monk was there to provide the blessing for the Temple. The blessing involves the string ceremony.

The Monk chants a sacred text offering protection to those present and for the Temple. For this protection to be attained a string is passed around which everyone holds while the chanting takes place. All those holding the string at this time are now spiritually connected. A ward is created using the thread and is tied around the wrists of all present. This is called a pirith noola. The pirith noola confers protection from bad luck. Before the Monk ties the string around your wrist he pours a small amount of water into your hands. You taste the water and sprinkle the rest on your head.

The plaque honouring TRIP Canada for their contributions is revealed and the ribbon cut.

Following the ceremony there is, of course, tea and some food. One of the food items was wrapped in a banana leaf. Janet offers up 1000 rupees to anyone that will try the banana leaf wrapped delicacy. I take the bet. The contents of the leaf, although not entirely known, seem to contain coconut wrapped in a doughy mixture of perhaps rice flour and treacle.

The most important part of this tasty treat is that the banana leaf is to be removed before indulging. It is wrapped only for the baking process. This we learned after we were halfway through the dessert with the locals having a little chuckle at our expense.

A lovely ceremony, a lesson learned and 1000 rupees for the kids.

After the ceremony we set off to Canadapura to begin work on the bigger project that we began last year. With the second floor well underway, the building is huge! Upon completion it will be able to offer so many more rooms to house children in need of refuge.

It was lovely to be greeted by some of the children and see a number of familiar, smiling faces. They have really grown and changed since last year.

Work today included moving bricks and sand to the second floor – a new challenge for the volunteers. And it would not be a work site without some sand sifting and some parging. As the building is quite open it offered a cooling breeze which was welcomed on this very hot day.

A quick dip in the beautiful and rugged Indian Ocean is a great way to end the work day followed by a delicious lime drink. Now we have time to enjoy some new friends and have some great pizza.

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