EPG The Arrival

After working so hard all year to raise the money, we were so excited to finally be coming to Sri Lanka.

OceanStars :: Friday 18th October 2013 :: This Story

The welcoming we experienced by Ranchan and his team both in Amapalanthurai and Batti exceeded any of our expectations. We were met by the teachers of the pre-school and all of the children with garlands, tea and an ocean of smiles. Sassi introduced us, and we were all touched by his moving words. We were soon taken to Rita and Christy's house where we would be staying for our time here. Their kindness and hospitality seems to know no bounds.

Before the work began we were lucky enough to be shown around Batti by Kugadashini, Diana, Bevan and Ranchan. We were shown all the sights followed by a swim to cool down. We swam to Crocodile Island and played  water games with the locals. 'The ladies' in the Ocean Stars office as one of our volunteers has affectionately named them,  cooked us an incredible local lunch followed by mangoes which we took from the trees. We were treated so warmly that we were worried one of the volunteers would never want to go home.

The project started with another moving ceremony in which some of us laid the first bricks along with other important people to the project. The project however really started today (Monday) and we were all so pleased with the progress, which however hard we worked could not have been achieved without the help of the local volunteers. Even the teachers in their saris were an integral part of our brick passing chain. It was amazing how clean they managed to keep themselves whilst we were filthy.  After another brilliant meal  from Rita, and a shower, we headed to the Kovil festival at the local temple. We saw firsthand how lovely each and every member of this close community could be and shared food, laughs and photos with them. This festival lasts for five nights and we plan to be there for all of them.

Our first few days in Sri Lanka have been unforgettable. We have been overwhelmed by the hospitality, kindness and smiles of every person we have met. Ranchan and his team's organisation, dedication and communication have facilitated the seamless running of EGP Sri Lanka's dreams into a reality. We could not ask for a better host, community or situation to be spending our time in.