Sri LankaJan 4th 6:30 pm
Today I was in Mahsena Village all day (where the library that all of us helped fund to completion was). It rained alot yesterday and we got behind schedule. There are 2 workers that have been contracted. The rest of the work is done by the older students. I got to meet some of the teachers. There are 7 teachers here normally. Today, there were only 4. The others will join the school on Jan 7th. The female teachers are a bit shy when talking to me. I got a chance to give a talk to the students. Since they were shy, I had to do most of the talking. I tried my best to be like Sukh and tell them something inspiring. We talked about what peace (saameya) means to them. Alot of them talked about how they wish the nation could be united and there could be understanding between the people and that we could be one family.
Afterwards, we went to work on the library. I did some painting. The principle is a little stressed that we won’t have a western flushing toilet ready by tommorrow, when the rest of the crew gets here. Hopefully, it will be ready without much distress. I tried to tell them that one day of using the squat toilet is ok.
We drink tea like 3 or 4 times a day.
I met a little boy in 2nd grade that has a disease that they called “Thalmacyn” or something like that. His body doesn’t manage the amount of iron well and he swells up and is in pain if he doesn’t get his shots. The father told me and my dad that it is expensive for them (it costs 600 rupees per shot and Sandu needs 25 shots per month). He’s a really cute kid. He’s the top student in the 2nd grade. He has a smile that kind of looks like mine. When the rest of the crew gets here, I’ll ask if we can throw a “hat collection” to see if we can give the family enough for 1 month.
Last night ended with a Bodi Pooja. The school is located next to a Buddhist temple. In fact, the principle at the school is a monk that has been with the school for 30 years. We heard pirith and lighted oil lamps and each of us recieved a yarn band that signifies how we are all connected, the bands are cut from the same thread and then wrapped by the monk as he chants.
I’m kind of tired today even though all I did was paint. I think giving a talk took alot out of me. The kids were shy but, I think I’m shy too. It’s hard for me to speak in front of a group… especially because of my broken “singlish”