Day 2 - Grace Childrens Home

OceanStars :: Sunday 25th October 2009 :: This Story

Saturday - Grace childrens home

‘Where do I begin to tell the story….’ Or so the song begins. After a day like today that’s a sentiment all of here can relate too. It’s been a very special day in more ways than one.
We began very early – 5.30 a.m was the wake up call, and we were off and on our way to Grace Home in Vavuniya by 6.45. We made good time and reached the Military checkpoint about 30 kms from Vavuniya at 9.00. On applying for permission to travel on into the town we were told by the officials that we could go no further! We were on the edge of what is deemed a war zone and foreign nationals are not allowed to enter!

To cut a long story short, there then followed lengthy negotiations between Dilanee and various important police and army officials. In between times there were phone calls to the U.K and Canada and a letter faxed to the Secretary of State for defence. Finally ‘Dame’ Dilanee won the day and we were able to go ahead with our visit to Mrs Nadarajah and the boys.

Interesting is the best way to describe the journey. Never more will we complain about road works on the M25. At least they keep at least ½ the road open whilst they dig up the rest, unlike the strategy used here. Our heart goes out to our amazing drivers whose skill at avoiding pot holes and wandering cattle is greatly to be admired. But it was all worth it when we arrived at Grace Home for Boys. The delight on their faces was a joy to see when we eventually drove in.

After a brief ‘Hello’ Maureen and the Team took the boys out onto the grass where we all played with an enormous parachute kindly donated by Heatherside Infants School. The boys thought it was fantastic and laughter and shouts filled the air as they ran under and over the ‘shute. ‘Fleet Dinner Ladies inc.’ served up the boys’ lunch before we sat down to a veritable feast prepared by the staff in the Home. After lunch it was a quiet time when some of us were taken on a guided tour of the Home by some very proud boys while others help to set up the craft activity. Using hands as templates they created a beautiful pot of flowers that then decorated the wall. Once the temperature outside subsided we were all outside playing with footballs, Frisbees, skipping ropes, bean bags and the parachute. In the meantime Dilanee was out and about in town buying shoes, socks, bags and two large cupboards that were delivered by tractor later in the afternoon.

Mrs Nadarajah celebrates her birthday next week so we all sang ‘Happy Birthday’ before tucking into chocolate cake and tea. The boys then entertained us by singing accompanied by one of the boys on the keyboard. ‘Dame’ Dilanee then played Kumbaya while the rest of us sang along.

It was an emotional farewell on both sides as we climbed back into the buses for the long journey back to Dambulla. Travelling home took 3 hours rather than the 5 ½ it took to get there this morning, but it was a day that none of us would have missed.

Everyone

 


Pictures from Grace childrens home and team at the airport!

At the airport

Graces Childrens Home 2009