Monday 27th October - From the sublime to the ridiculous...

OceanStars :: Tuesday 28th October 2008 :: This Story

From now on the ‘A’ word has been banned (Amazing.....sshhh!!!) Apologies if this blog makes little sense as we are all suffering rather from exhaustion after a very long day, so if anyone has any suggestions for an alternative superlative, plea se reply!!!

Whilst 3 of the team continued to snore, the other intrepid members arose early to visit the Golden Temple in Dambulla, (the largest Buddha statue in the world) and climbed the 365 steps to the Dambulla Caves/Temples (yes, Bron counted!!!!) It was a peaceful and spiritual place in the early morning.

Having met up with the rest of the team, we then transferred to a land rover for a rather cosy, bumpy journey with mud splashing through the open windows to an eco forest lodge. We were rather alarmed to hear that we might get stuck in the mud with 10 of us onboard but our fears fortunately proved unfounded!!. We were the guests of some of our Sri Lankan contacts who wanted to thank us for our work. This was a very pleasant interlude in a very busy schedule! Our thanks to Rohan, Yasmin, Dinushka and Shakthi for their generous hospitality, and entertaining stories of elephants eating the roof and stealing the salt over the kitchen wall!!

Our day continued with a long bumpy journey; a journey of contrasts, as we travelled from lush tropical landscape to a barren grassland with many ruined shelled houses, checkpoints, tsunami damage (and vicious speed bumps!) This area seemed much poorer, more rural and still in desperate need of regeneration.

We arrived in Batticaloa in the dark to be warmly welcomed by Joseph, the owner of “The Avonlea Guesthouse” where we will be spending the next four nights. There followed a planning evening to prepare activities for our visits to the Ocean Stars playgroup projects in the area over the next few days. So here we are at 10.45pm during a power cut cutting out paper streamers and Humpty Dumpty shapes, looking forward to spending time with the children and their teachers and hoping not to dream of the Hokey Cokey!!!