Be the Cause

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”



Here we are in Lunugamvehera! We’ve been serving at a beautiful school for 2-5 year olds. Sonali’s aunt told us about this project. The teachers would like the kids to learn more English and the teachers would like to teach the kids more directions in the classroom.

Christine and Jason prepared fun games, songs for the students. At first, we weren’t sure if this would work with the students and teachers since it’s a Montessori School that we’re at and there’s already a set routine for classroom activities/learning.

The first day, we were pretty much the entertainment for the students. There was an agenda that we prepared…and we worked from there. This age of students is squirrely in any nation. I’ve substitute taught for students of these ages in the states…and yes, they have tons of energy! The difference I would say with these students…there seemed to be a higher need for assistance in some ways…with the English and with connecting with more adults. Since we’re in a rural village, there is a limited number of teachers, but everything is so well done! Some of us volunteers were laughing because of the high numbers they’re already working with…

I’m so impressed with how every btc volunteer is stepping up and taking on a role: whether it be leading a song, activity, outside game,etc. We’re having a lot of fun as well: being silly on the busses. Yesterday, we saw a beautiful, huge temple worship ground. Our interpreter for the teachers and students, Dinesh took us there. The teachers live very far from the school. They walk about an hour away every morning. Last night we were working/teaching them English until dark. They still wanted to walk home. It was too late for others to pick them up. We drove them home in our bus with our bus driver, Silva. It was interesting to see how far they lived and how much more rural it was…even compared to the school.

Just a note of observation: Big bugs here! Like two times bigger or more compared to what we see in U.S. We sleep in Mozzie (mosquito nets). Raj found a praying mantis the other day…and was carrying it around for kids to see today…they were intrigued, but I’m sure they see these bugs daily…this is such a natural environment…all creatures, vegetation embraced…

I’m feeling that peacefulness come over me when on a service vacation…lots of activities…but inner happiness emerging and this excitement to take in everything I see: the trees, the green, the people, the kids, the food…Sudi brought us back some water lilies to eat our food on the other day.

We go to Sigiriya soon…but Ella first…I think we get to sleep in Tree houses and there are waterfalls.

I think we will all miss the kids…and the sweet, smiling teachers, staff.

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