More tea vicar?…

September 29, 2009 at 4:00 pm | Posted in Food, Friends, Life, Love, Travel | Leave a comment


A couple of months ago it was suggested that staff from NIMH submit an abstract for the 10th World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation conference. After much chivvying on my part, the help of the staff at Mull and vols support to get the piece to  the 250 words limit we submitted an abstract. The paper factory project is an example of reintegration and deinstitutionalisation. We heard a few weeks ago that  we were accepted for an oral presentation…whoopee RESULT! I could not pedal fast enough to get back to tell the ladies and staff the excellent news hey! Having already done a photo presentation with the staff for a VSO meeting we have 2/3rds of the presentation done. Following discussions with the director and staff, they have approached me with their thoughts about what else needs to be included. The staff involved will be considered to attend as I have been, but they will do the presentation. We have started to make our preparations for 5 days Bangalore in Nov.

We held our 6th communication and development meeting last Friday another close to tears moment for me. Matron and a nurse as arranged at the 5th meeting facilitated the session with your’s truly saying very little( hard to believe I know!), the nurses as leads for various projects stood and provided the updates it was great their confidence has grown for sure. Post meeting Matron had a word, informing me that she felt very happy, and to cut along story short, during the meeting the penny had dropped everything had fallen in to place for her, a eureka moment hoorah hoorah indeed!

Its at times like these I remind myself it just takes time change does happen …hemin hemin!(slowly slowly)

Which is the complete opposite to events of last Monday? A Sri Lankan friend’s younger brother of 19 years and his girl friend arrived on Sunday from the south having run away from her parents who were against them marrying. They had the clothes they wore and some rupees, made their minds up and wanted to get married they both completed their exams seeing each other for nearly 4 years …this was love.

Monday arrived  a few phone calls a registrar was located, appt booked for 4pm enough time to locate a saree, some thing old ,new ,borrowed and blue with the help of 5 vols this was to be a singalish wedding! It was indeed an honour to attend the short affair (lots of paper work to be signed) and witness two young people so obviously devoted about to make this commitment to each other. After the official bit they popped to the temple while the vols got on with the wedding feast and getting the flat ready. Xmas tinsel was dug out balloons were blown up, I got on the bike to fetch a gateaux and a few beers from the “Bear shop” (SL spelling mistakes are hilarious) at 6ish the couple returned and were over whelmed by the fact that the vols could make such a lovely time for them. The txt messages we received have been so sweet thanking us for our efforts. The pleasure was indeed all ours. The brides parents were contacted made aware she was safe and married.  The extremes of this country never cease to amaze or amuse me.

Which leads nicely in to a brief update of my recent travels, a holiday weekend saw us head south to the beach to celebrate a vols birthday. Unawatuna is a lovely beach but sadly does not agree with me as you remember at new year I was un well, again this happened on the Saturday me confined to my hotel room no 101 by the way at the lovely Norlanka (www.norlanka)   Friday was a poya day when no alcohol is to be served. Some bars disregard this of course, a case of who you know in the local police , others err on the side of caution serving ice cold larger in a tea pot with  cups and saucers …well we had to have one there didn’t we just for the photo opportunity!

I was sorted by Sunday ,the suspect being a rogue prawn coupled with little sleep in the preceding  week( burning the mid night oil in order to complete the assignment for the Human Rights Diploma- I’m still waiting the results of assignment and group presentation …watch this space.

I travelled with a fellow vol to Deniyaya  4 hours form Galle to visit the tropical rain forest of Sinharaja, ( which means Lion King) which  is described in the rough guide as  ‘ one of the islands outstanding natural wonders and an ecological treasure box of international significance recognised as  a UNESCO world heritage site in 1989.A staggering 830 of SL’s endemic species of flora and fauna found here, also a myriad of birds, reptiles and insects with 60%of the reserves tress being endemic too’. So you understand why it was on my list of places to visit. We enjoyed our stay at the Rainforest Lodge, the food was plentiful, and the rooms comfortable, the bats that flew into the veranda as we sipped our beer, like Hitchcock’s ‘Birds’ were entertaining. The staff were very friendly and helpful in organising our trip to the forest. On arrival we met our guide who kindly applied blue soap to our feet as a deterrent to the leeches, ummm not that successful; we were popular targets for the little bleeders! I was very girly initially and  was heard screeching as I made vain attempts to flick the critters off…a couple of hours later the frustration was audible with my use of expletives( sorry Mum yes swearing!)Despite this, the walk of nearly 3 hours was really very enjoyable and I would recommend a visit. We saw ginger and cinnamon plants, cameleon, millipedes, waterfalls, the rivers Gin Ganga and Kalu Ganga, fungi in many colours, monkeys, the amazing forest canopy, trees and noisy cicadas! Sadly few birds due to the fact it rained intermittently, but me brolly was up and down a few times!




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