Holidays ,Holy days…Happy days!

May 9, 2009 at 4:39 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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I’ve been and come back or as they say here gihan ennan ..I’ll go and come.
Returning home at the end of March to join the family celebrate my parents golden wedding anniversary was a great way to start nearly 3 weeks holiday in the UK. Wow an instant hit of my nearest and dearest which included going to mass the receiving of a Papal blessing ( its like the Queen sending a telegram for birthdays of significance, but this is from the Pope!) eating drinking lots of laughing and catching up, staying at Ripley Castle, North York’s, more eating ,drinking and much merriment and many happy memories.
I had a great time seeing friends in Chester, Manchester and London including going to the theatre to see “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” which was fabulous darlings! Time was spent with my family, visiting relative’s, a day at the coast in Scarborough by train with my nephew, eating, seeing friends from work ,more food, shopping ,hot chocolate in M&S, cheese, cinema, DVD’s, walking, and gardening pretty well sums up the vacation! On leaving I was naturally a little sad but was I ready to return, I’d missed the heat… my mum’s heating bill will certainly be up this quarter!
So I’m back all is well. George the geeko had moved some more mates in lots of geeko poo to sweep up along with 3 weeks dust was the first job before unpacking. My Landlord and family were keen to hear about my visit and invited me for an evening meal with them which was a lovely welcome back.
Returning to work, I was interested to see what had happened in my absence. Before leaving I had met with Matron and a few senior staff to discuss on going projects, agreeing a list of things ” to do”.I am pleased to say that matron met me with a beaming Sri Lankan smile and before we had time to say hello, beckoned me to the flip chart paper on the wall with big ticks all over it WOW …she and the staff had been busy. She gave me an up date of progress and a rationale for why something’s had not been ticked, about 65% complete I was blown away …YIPEE! On the Friday of that week we held our 4th communication meeting this time (with much encouragement from yours truly) Matron facilitated, updating the action plan and establishing 2 working groups …slowly slowly things are changing!
The rest of that week was spent listening to the events that had happened relating to the New Year celebrations I’d missed; the thing is here events go on for 2 weeks after the event so I was able to spend time at Angoda Hospital New Year Festival.
This year instead of each ward having an event all wards combined to have a big event in the sports field next to hospital. You may remember last year I spent a similar day at the horticulture project where I took part in the ‘ eat the hanging cream cracker, hands tied behind your back game.’ This year I got knocked out in the first round of musical chairs!
It was good to witness, staff and clients having fun together. New games this year, guess how many seeds in the Papaya( size of a rugby ball)this was a hard one as some papaya that big have been known on opening to contain less than 10 and others 1000’s.I had 3 goes …no where near the answer of 894 …glad I wasn’t asked to count!
An event I’d not seen before was a pillow fight…with a difference. A wooden ‘A’ frame was erected about 7ft high and 8ft long, 2 contestants mounted with pillow in hand the other hand behind their back. The idea was of course to knock your opponent off to land on the mattresses below…it was hilarious, some of these chaps put so much effort in to taking a swing they fell off with out delivering a blow. Others were veterans at the game and held their position while receiving the blows rained on them picking their time when the opponent was tiring to take one swing and off he’d go. Watching with a colleague she enquired did these events happen in the UK? I had thoughts of Eddie Waring and Stewart Hall on TV’s ‘ Its a ‘Knock Out’. Thinking about the NHS … health and safety and fun in the same sentence…
Yesterday was Vesak Poya the Festival of Light, I went to watch the Perahera (parade) with my landlady and landlord as their son was taking part. This reminded me of the perehera I watched in Kandy but with less elephants (there were 2 )the children in their class groups were dressed in traditional brightly coloured costumes from 4 -18 yr olds, lots of noise from the drums and singing. It was supported by proud parents with family and friends .Despite a few showers of rain we walked about 3 km through the town, passing the shops and booths displaying their lamps and streamers cars and buses heavily decorated also. On our return home we were stopped at roadside booths ‘dansal’ which were erected for the purpose, to give away free food yes rice and curry, some with drinks and biscuits all the villagers out smiling chatting a real sense of community …this is where I live at the moment and I’m happy to be back!

Not that I’m counting…the big screen?

September 26, 2008 at 10:28 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I can hardly believe it on the 26th Sept I’ll have been here 6 months…whew clichés a plenty, time goes by when you’re having fun, time and tide wait for no man, time goes by….  another Madonna reference sorry…

Need less to say if you have been following my Sri Lankan experience so far, you’ll agree I have actually done ,seen , tasted ,etc a whole selection box of wonderful things in this relatively short period of time.

Selection box ahah …leads me nicely onto the fact that some of  us vols have been talking about our plans for Christmas and New Year, like we have nothing better to do in this developing country but to focus on our selves …yes well, despite these days not being celebrated in this Buddhist country they fall in the high season. The weather is HOT and holiday makers flee cooler climes for SL winter sun – yep you’ve got it, the prices go up.

So those of us on a small allowance try to book beach accommodation a) early  and b)get residents rates or negotiate a deal if we have previously stayed there. Not really wishing our time away here, it is purely for practical, financial and of course volunteer supportive reasons we are thinking ahead. I’ll keep you posted nearer the time of the out come.

A small down side of these thoughts, being those of home, highlighted by a quick text from my sis Rosie, saying she would be at home last weekend. Ooh the taste of my mum’s home cooking, been driven  to the pub by my dad, going to see my nephews, and a  glass of cold white wine I have to admit a I felt a little home sick ,with 6 months suddenly feeling like a very along time! 

Hey ho, the moment has passed prashna nae ,as they say here no problem, I am doing OK, please don’t worry, feeling a tad home sick now and again is good and normal, ’tis all part of the SL experience!!!

Aeti = enough! I move on.

The first full week back at work has been really good catching up with things. Like I said last blog not a lot has happened as things do not move at a fast pace here. However things like funding applications have been discussed with the Rotary Club of SL.This was a fascinating meeting to hear how funds are generated on an international scale and utilized creatively for example the building of schools in the tsunami hit areas.

Our proposal was put together with input from staff at the hospital myself and written up by W.H.O. The main objective focussed on the provision of a “homely environment”, which included costs for items such as 400 beds, lockers,  water tanks, TV ‘s and arm chairs to a vehicle. This would to be utilized by staff to do home visits when families located, and by the women to support their integration into the community through shopping trips going to the cinema, the zoo, the temples etc

Mulleriyawa hospital also received a large donation of goods from the LIONS club this week. This included items ranging from soap to an exercise bike, with underwear, sheets, plates ,gas bottles and cleaning equipment in between. It will improve the quality of life for the women in a small but relevant way. So things are progressing for the women I am glad to report.

Now I am getting about a bit more independently( did I tell you I broke a bone in my foot???)  and using the bus to work(bike use to commence once I get the flat tyre sorted!)I ventured into town       ( Colombo City 25 mins from the pink palace) to join a couple of mates to go to the flix as you do on Saturday evening. The Liberty Plaza cinema was showing the Batman film Dark Night or was it Knight(oops cant remember!)Once we purchased our  tickets popcorn was required, however to my delight and surprise you can purchase a beer should you so wish to enjoy with your film, very civilised I thought as was the interval , when you get chance  for another!  Once the second half started the sound quality which hadn’t been that brilliant was drowned out by the sound of the audience munching their way through the bags of prawn crackers they’d bought (obviously not big drinkers!) I did enjoy the film although we suspect it had been cut in a few places.  I am not complaining as it was a pleasant change compared to my usual viewing of DVD’s on the laptop under me mossie net!… which is where I’m headed for now!!!  Another instalment soon…

 

 

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