Tuesday – Music, Working Together, Making Friends

By: Carole Anne

“How lucky we are, Team 13, to have gained something that makes saying good-bye so hard.”

227 The hardest part is saying goodbye.

Today was our last day and it was a day of mixed emotions. We were happy to have completed our goals at the Canadapura orphanage but we were sad to say good-bye to the beautiful children. It was quite an amazing day filled with work, laughter, celebration and many deeply profound moments.

Muslim School
Our day began with a tour of the Muslim school, where TRIP Canada built a library with a computer lab and a playground for the Muslim neighborhood two years ago. Some ‘landscaping’ was also done, including a rock with the Canadian flag on it. This rock was a special tribute to TRIP Canada and Team 13’s Linda and John are going to freshen it up with a new coat of paint on Wednesday.

We received a warm welcome and were delighted to observe the teachers and the children, in both the classroom and the playground. The children melted our hearts with their beautiful smiles and fun personalities. We all enjoyed watching a group of young boys play cricket.

Our Last Work Day

We arrived at Canadapura energized to complete our projects. Within minutes, Amalie, Ron, Don and John were parging in the new building and the paint team of Susan, Bruce, Linda, Erin, Coleen, and Stacie were painting the children’s bedrooms in the older building. The girls were very excited to have pale pink on their walls and the boys loved their blue color. Because Team 13 exceeded expectations with building three new dormitories and a bathroom, and painting the older building and Temple, we had time to treat the children to freshly painted bedrooms.

Natalie and I had the most fun, supervising the children while they drew pictures. They would say, “Teacher, teacher, you like?”  We would reply, “We love it!” We were very impressed with Nimantha’s picture of birds and he, too, was as proud as a peacock! As you can see the children were jumping with joy with their beautiful drawings.

Let The Games Begin
Team 13 enjoyed the games as much as the children! Thanks to Amalie and Bruce for organizing them. John did an excellent job with musical chairs and I must say that all 25 participants wanted to win. It came down to Sasuni and petit Danushika, but Sasuni came out as the winner. We also played volleyball and water balloon toss. Let’s just say that I ended up wet!

A moving ceremony
After lunch, the children had a special event for us. The girls sang and danced beautifully in their adorable red polka dot dresses. We were all impressed and of course, inspired by their talent and their desire to perform well for us. This was followed by gifts to each of the volunteers and a thank you speech from one of the children. Team 13 reciprocated with gifts of school shoes for all, toys for the boys and fun jewellery for the girls. Of course, ice cream cones for everyone was the perfect ending to the ceremony! Then we all put our hand prints on a mural which will hang beside the one done last year by Team 12.

Farewell Parties
Our evening started with a thank you party for the local building crew, who worked so hard, beside us. We appreciated their patience, especially when we were learning the trade, parging. Language was never a barrier, as we learnt to communicate with a few words and much laughter. Together everyone achieves more and the workers and volunteers proved that we make a great team. At the party they continued to teach us – playing an Arrack bottle with coins and the very special ‘boat dance’.

We returned to our Moonstone home and the garden was the perfect setting for our delicious seafood farewell dinner. We celebrated the incredible success of the 13 volunteers of Team 13 with our Sri Lankan family. We couldn’t have done it without the assistance and generous hospitality of Raelene and Darshan, Anil and Viwecka and Deepal, Sarath and Ruwan. You were always there for us and will forever hold a very special place in our hearts.

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