We are the volunteering group of Sri Lanka and we want to tell you about our introduction week in this beautiful country.
After a long trip on a plane and a bus, we finally arrived in Kandy on Sunday morning, where we met the whole group. On Sunday we just chilled in the volunteer house to get rid of the jetlag and to get to know each other. In the evening we ate some rice with curry, which was very spicy.
On Monday morning we met our great coordinator Chrish. He explained how our first week was going to be and he told us something about the Sri Lankan culture. For lunch, we had rice and curry (again), and it was spicy (again) ;). After lunch, Chris gave us a language lesson. The first thing we wanted to know was how to say “not spicy” in Sri Lankan. It turned out to be “sera epa”. Furthermore he told us the basics of the Sri Lankan language, the bus was waiting for us to take us to Kandy. We went to a cultural show in Kandy, it was a great experience! It was a traditional culture show, the people were dancing in traditional clothes and at the end they started walking on fire, which was crazy. After that, we went back to the volunteer house.
On Tuesday morning Chrish gave us a cooking class about typical Sri Lankan food. Which normally is spicy, but we told him “sera epa”, because we are not really keen on spicy food. After that, we went to Kandy again, for a boat trip this time. It was great, we saw an iguana and a lot of birds. In the afternoon, we went to the local market, where we bought some fruits.
Wednesday we went to a beautiful spice garden where we got some nice massages. After being fully treated in the spice garden, we went to a tea factory where they explained us how the delicious Sri Lankan tea is made. We had lunch in Kandy. In the afternoon we went to a gem museum and a silk & batik factory, which was nice too.
On Thursday we went to the lion rock in Sigirya. We climbed on the mountain next to the Lion Rock , so we would have a nice view of the Lion Rock. The view was very beautiful, the whole group loved it! After this, our bus drove us to Dambulla, where we would sleep in a hotel for one night. The hotel was great, we had big rooms and there was a river where we could swim. We went swimming in the lake with the whole group. After watching the sunset by the lake, we had dinner in the hotel. The people from the hotel made a bonfire for us, underneath the palm trees. We ate marshmallows while listening to music and we watched the stars, because there were SO many. It was a wonderful evening.
On Friday we went back to the volunteer house, after another swim in the lake. On our way back, we stopped to visit a temple. Unfortunately, the temple was closed. But we still got the chance to take some photos of the temple from the outside. When we arrived back in Kandy, a little part of our group went to the grocery store to buy some stuff to make sandwiches for the next day. We made the sandwiches that evening, so we would have a nice lunch the next day.
Saturday we went to the rain forest in Kandy. We made a nice walk in the park. Some people of our group swung with lianas and some were surrounded by 20 monkeys, which was very scary. Chrish told us more about the animals and plants we saw in the forest. After eating our delicious sandwiches we walked to the next stop: the cemetery. Because the whole group was very tired we got the choice to go back to the volunteer house or to get some free time in Kandy. The biggest part of the group chose to go home. They took the local bus back to the camp. The other ones went to the grocery store again, this time to buy things to make pancakes on Monday. In the evening we have had a cake for Vittorio, because it was his birthday.
On Sunday we first went to the Tooth temple in Kandy. In the temple there was a ceremony, a lot of locals came there to meditate. After the temple we walked to the big Boeddha statue we saw earlier this week. We really wanted to go on the statue, so we decided to do it on ourselves in the weekend, without Chrish. After that, we walked back to the centrum of Kandy where we got some free time to eat lunch. The whole group agreed to go to a swimming pool in the afternoon, so we spend the afternoon at the swimming pool. We drove back home with the tuck-tuck, because the whole group wanted to. It’s great that they ask us what we’d like to do and that they also try to put it in the planning.
Tomorrow is our first day of work, one part of the group is going to go to a house with disabled children and the other part is going to help with the construction of a temple. It’s very exciting!
Thank you WEP for the nice organization of this amazing journey, or like how they say it in Sri Lankan: sthuttiy (that means thank you 😉)
Greets from the whole volunteering group in Sri Lanka