Week 2 - Batti!

OceanStars :: Monday 27th June 2011 :: This Story

Hi Everyone!

I've been in Batticaloa for nearly a week now and have decided it's time for an update!

It's been a pretty eventful week. Batti is bigger and busier than other places I've seen so far. With the sea on one side and the lagoon on the other there's water everywhere! I've spent the week visiting nurseries, met an English lady called Alice (SO nice to have an english natter!) and learnt how to make hats and baskets out of palm leaves.

It's *really* interesting to be here and think about things with my development hat on! There are NGO logos everywhere, from on buckets to on buildings, and I find myself asking lots of critical questions about the nature of development, and of what my role is here in the short time I have etc etc! All very interesting. Ruth, it'll be fascinating to have a good natter about it when you're here too!

It's not all rosy all the time, obviously. There have been occasions when I've felt lonely, simply through lack of ability to have a English chinwag about nothing-in-particular with anyone. But I'm never alone for very long and everyone here is lovely.

There are lots of little things I love about being here, too. The smell of jasmine. The way the place goes deliciously cool in the evenings. The fun of getting everywhere by motorbike (love you, Mum!!). And just the simple fact that these lovely people have so generously opened their culture and experiences to me.
I've learnt little bits and pieces about Sri Lanka's recent history, too, which has been fascinating, and I've discovered that there are peace projects in the area following years of war, and painting therapy too. I'm hoping to go and see some of these projects as well.

Tomorrow I'm starting the English teaching. It's pretty daunting because it's a three-hour class, with teachers of different levels of English, so I'm not yet sure how I'm going to fill up the time while catering for everyone, without overloading them with information! But Ranchan, the guy looking after me here, will be working through it with me and finding ways to improve as we go along, so it'll be a learning experience for me too!
Thanks so much again for the messages you've been sending. Keep them coming! Would really value your continued prayers for good health, enthusiasm and inspiration for teaching!

You're all amazing. Love. Meg x