The final day of playgroups 28th October 2010

OceanStars :: Friday 29th October 2010 :: This Story

Urani – Nursery and lunch project

Our last day working with the children found the four of us at Urani Nursery where both Amali and Kate had visited in 2008 and Helena in 2009. The difference between 2008 and 2010 was marked in that the teachers were much happier and really involved with the children, and the children themselves well disciplined.
They have a lovely nursery with pictures and decorations all around the two rooms that they use. We spent the morning with The Rainbow Fish and his friends, threading, colouring and glueing until the children finished at 12.00pm for lunch.
This Nursery has a lunch project attached to it and the children all eagerly washed their hands and sat patiently on mats while their lunch was served up to them. After a short prayer they tucked into savoury rice with an egg on top. They all seemed fit and well nourished, thanks to the generosity of those people who sponsor this project.
The Team were then invited to have lunch at one of the teacher’s houses where we were served by a ‘Great Grandmother’ with impeccable English. She had been brought up in a Convent from the age of 4 when both her parents died.
It was a lovely morning and a really fitting way to finish – and we did think that if we stayed for another couple of months that we might actually become quite good teachers.

This evening was spent celebrating Dilanee’s birthday (not until December) with a big party for all the Ocean Stars Family – Teachers, Office Staff, Joseph and his family, the drivers and the ‘English Contingent’. Lots of games, singing and dancing, and good food was had by all. All we can look forward to now is the Teacher Training day tomorrow before heading back to Colombo in the afternoon.
Kate, Helena, Amali and Ben


Kalkudah Nursery

Another early start!! The bags under the eyes grow bigger each day.
We were up and away by 7.30am for the long drive out to Kalkudah. On arrival the children greeted us warmly and we again received beautiful garlands of fresh flowers They were a lively bunch - great fun and full of energy. The pre - school itself is small – a room not much bigger than most sitting rooms and today it was filled with 28 children all of whom were seated around the edges in their plastic chairs. It was very humid and stuffy inside so we moved some of the children outside in to the shade and Matt and Georgia entertained them with bubbles, puppets and assorted games. Inside we collaged fish, sang, hopped, jumped and sweated a lot!! Then the rain came and cleared the air somewhat and we all drew sigh of relief.
Early in the day Ranchan abandoned us and went off with Danny, Janeke and Preema the nursey teacher to buy wood etc for repairs to the slide outside and the fence. As there was no-one else around for the rest of the morning who spoke any English, Suzi and I had to become very dramatic and expressive when trying to sort the children. We survived however and the children seemed happy and pleased to be able to go home with their fish, teddies and some sweets.
Another yummy curry lunsh followed and we even managed a swim at the local beach before heading back to Batti and the party!! Packing followed…it’s been a very long day. Off for some rest now….
Maureen, Suzi, Georgia, Matt and Danny


Poonachimanai Nursery

Team C set off with slightly flagging energy this morning with the addition of Dilanee and Rangini, as well as Sudha who was a brilliant interpreter as well as extra teacher all morning. We were greeted with lots of lovely garlands by one of the teachers and her assistant – the other teacher was away at a meeting with the local Minister for the first couple of hours.
There were 45 children at this nursery, in a lovely room which the teachers have kept decorated with displays of the children’s work. Every child had a chair and sat in groups of 4 at round tables so movement was quite restricted. Outside was a small fenced off play area with some play equipment. The children were a little shy at first and 1 particularly was very frightened, but as we sang our hello song and did some circle time activities they gradually relaxed. We had a busy 3 and a half hours with the group, and again they really enjoyed the outdoor play and making their fish hats, as well as listening to Chris, Sudha and their teacher reading the Rainbow Fish story. By the end of the morning they were all smiling and laughing, and went away happily with their teddies.
We shared lunch in Batti with some of the sponsored girls from St. Vincents. They were delightful young women who enjoyed chatting about their schooling and their ambitions, as well as very obligingly helping us with Collingwoods eco questionnaire.
This evening’s celebration was a wonderful affair, but as it’s now 12.30 am and we have another early start tomorrow you’ll have to wait until we can tell you about it in person!
Chris, Kat, Carolyn