Trip Diary

Calthorpe Park School trip to Sri Lanka 2017

Naomi Booth :: Tuesday 24th October 2017 :: This Story

Picture: /files/sri-lanka-oct-2017/278/w288/team-photo.jpg

Game on....

Yet another trip full of educational, real lifetime experience..
Car loaded, hand luggage packed, alarms set, an excited Lyssie trying to sleep!!!!!!!!

So excited to be departing for Sri Lanka tomorrow!! Hope everyone sleeps well tonight, it'll be an amazing experience for everyone!

Sri Lanka Trip - ready to go

Good luck everyone. You'll have a fantastic experience

Missing you already!

Hope you all have a wonderful time!


All on board our rather swish A380 ready for take off!

All on board

Feeling tired but very excited to finally be here!

reay for take-off

All safe and sound. Now time for pool and breakfast!

here we go

ayubowang vannakambeyond boundaries - your holiday sepcialist

 Daily blog post- day 1

Today has been a long day! This morning, after waking up at 6am (2 am England time...), we went to visit a Buddhist temple in Kandy which contained one of Buddha's teeth. We had to remove our shoes when we entered the temple which was surprising freeing and interesting as it's not something we usually see in England. Some of us also bought colourful lotus flowers to give as offerings to Buda which created a beautiful display. The temple complex was very large so there were loads of different aspects to see.

Temple in Sri Lanka

After a bit of a journey, we arrived at the tea plantation. Fields of green bushes stretched ahead of us, with narrow paths winding between. As soon as we reached the top of the path we split into teams and were given a basket between each team. We were taken to a patch of tea and had a competition to see who could pick the most, and the best, in five minutes. Despite our team filling up the basket until it was overflowing, team D had "better quality leaves" so won a bow of tea (first the worst second the best). We then went through the process of turning the leaves into something you can drink, and saw all the various machines involved. Finally, we were taken to a cafe/ shop, where everyone bought way more than they could ever drink!


At the very last leg of today's trip, we visited the spice garden. As soon as we entered the area of trees, we started to smell odd things coming from different places- some lovely...some not so lovely. We were quickly shown all of their plants, and their medicinal properties. Some of us even got to try them, with Mr Walker volunteering for the unfortunate job of trying the saffron hair removal cream, ending up with a "soft-as-a-babys-bottom" leg (only a section of it though).


We were then taken to a little hut where we had massages. The boys got to take their tops off for some vigorous body, neck and head massages and the girls got various ointments put on our shoulders and arms, along with finger cracking, making most of us squirm. We then went through the shop, lots of us buying potions and lotions we had previously seen throughout the gardens. Happy with our purchases, we had a long drive to our new, lovely hotel. We instantly got in the pool where we refreshed and relaxed, cooling off after such a long, hot day.


Daily blog post-day 2

Today has been one of the best days so far as we met our first group of Sri Lankan children. They welcomed us with songs, dances and freshly picked flower bouquets. We played two cricket matches against the students and it's safe to say we were beaten (though only thanks to some very dodgy umpiring and a language barrier between Mr T and the scorers). Lyssie especially enjoyed the matches, getting herself a three wicket haul, and Livy got to donate lots of cricket kit. Grace was with the younger girls, painting nails and braiding their hair with Katie and Yasmin.

Afterwards, we all got to hold and learn about Sri Lankan snakes (almost getting Sam to conquer his fear) and watch experts handle the native venomous snakes, such as cobras and pythons.

Overall we can all agree our favourite part of the day has to be the jeep safari, where we got the opportunity to see two herds of elephants as well as peacocks, monkeys, water monitors and crocodiles.

We definitely deserved our 'chilling out time' by the pool in the evening, followed by a tasty dinner buffet!

Next stop: Batticaloa...

From Lyssie, Livy, Grace

Herd of Elephant in Sri Lanka

Daily blog post- day 3

This morning we went to a rock temple. We had to climb a big mountain and it took about 15 minutes but when we arrived the view was amazing. There were many statues of Buddha that were carved 15m into the mountain, it was such a good experience. -Jess

Buddah statues

After that, we had a long journey to Batticaloa. During the journey, we all sang at the top of our lungs and stopped at the supermarket to buy local snacks. We were all very excited about getting to the hotel, so that we could meet some of the other people working with the charity and begin carrying out our plans for the school. -Lauren

Mountain View in Sri Lanka

We first got to the hotel and rushed to the hammocks which we nearly fell out of. After that we all had a meeting with Team 2 and other representatives from the two other schools that we will be going to. We all mingled and all had a sing song which ended in fits of laughter! The day then ended with dinner out at a restaurant – Samantha

Going in

Daily blog post- day 4

Today was an emotional yet fun day. We really enjoyed teaching the kids, especially as we received such an amazing welcoming, making us feel humbled and overjoyed, however, a little overwhelmed. After we were greeted, we went straight into their assembly where we were sat on the front of the stage. Later on in the assembly we had fun trying to live up to their standards, as we joined in a "physical exercise" which they were al very enthusiastic and keen to do. It was great t see their smiles and the excitement in their eyes as soon as they saw us. They are enthusiastic about the smallest things and loved everything including such simple ones such as "heads,shoulders,knees and toes".

Sri Lanka tsunami hit

Later on in the day we visited the area of where the tsunami had hit. We saw destroyed homes that made us feel very overwhelmed. We saw people living in these conditions which hit home. It was sad to see the destruction of what used to seem such a happy and communal area. It was horrible to see that they didn't even have the minimal essentials, additionally, not even having any source of electricity. This left us feeling very emotional and quite speechless. Having left, we all thought we needed to help, leaving emotions quite high. Overall, today has had an overwhelming yet positive effect on our journey over here.

visited the area of where the tsunami had hit

Daily blog post- day 5

Today we spent our second day teaching in our first school. It was extremely enjoyable as all of the children joined in and were very enthusiastic, although we were repeating the same things. Many children that we had teached the day before came up to us, remembered our names and wanted to be with us again. Even when we had finished our activities, the children still wanted to stay with us by playing games such as "duck duck goose", songs like the "hokey cokey" and even teaching us handshakes and clapping games. I must have given more high fives and handshakes in those few hours than I have for a long time. When we went to leave lots of the children wanted to take pictures with us as it was the last day we would be teaching them and then a couple of the girls gave Ilay and I some pretty flowers which was lovely but emotional. - Anya

In school in Sri Lanka


Mr T's bromance

After experiencing an amazing day teaching in the schools we came back to our hotel to eat lots of chips! We had some time in the pool and then got ready to go to the deaf and mute party. When we arrived, everyone was sat down in a circle of chairs and Dilanee, along with Diana (the translator), talked about why we were there and then what we were going to do. We set up our activities and then the families came around to take part in the activities and spend some quality time with eachother. We then ate some food and performed some songs all together. We had a great evening and really enjoyed spending time with some local people. They were so grateful for the experience that I will personally never forget. - Ilay

In the school hall

With school children in Sri Lanka

Daily blog post- day 6

We had a good day in the other school. It was a very different experience to teach in a slightly more well off school. The children really enjoyed playing our game and we felt that our activity ran a lot more 'to plan' in this school. However, the first school we went to was a lot more fun because the kids were a lot more gang gang swag and bantz at ye olde non-prison-like school. - Kieran

With the children in Sri LankaFun

Later in the day we visited two projects that ocean stars are working on. A pre-school of young children and 'Hope House'. It was wonderful seeing these projects and seeing directly where the money was being invested in. Later in the evening Kieran hit his head on the fan for the third time in as many days. We went to food city to buy supplies. I bought biscuits. They were nice. Later in the evening we packed the bags with supplies we had gathered from food city . - Sam

Overall, we really enjoyed working in both schools, the kids have been really enthusiastic and have really engaged with our lessons. We've made some great bonds and look foward to the sports day and the talent show - Ben

Dressed up

Daily blog post- day 7

Today (yesterday) we went back to Navilady school which, for me was my second time there. We participated in a sports day run by their school featuring dancing, performances and lots of new sports we look forward to seeing in the Olympics soon, such as the elephant run and bean bag shuttle race, which I managed to get beaten by an 8 year old girl... Patrick

Although I nearly fell asleep in the variety show I definitely found it a great experience of different cultures. My favourite act in the variety show was a fantastic recreation of Pinocchio because the quality of English surprised me. Our own performance went well and we really enjoyed the opportunity...

I also found the variety show an amazing experience, some of the acts that the children performed were jaw dropping. Some of the different cultural dances were really interesting to watch. The children all put so much effort in to creating their amazing drama pieces and dances...

Some other people went to a deaf school for the morning. Which students can live 2-3 hours away but still attend. Even though it was harder to communicate, everyone found a way and I think it was a really enjoyable time for both English and Sri Lankan students alike...


This has been the most amazing week of my life thankyou x



Girls at school

Most incredible week of my life x




I've really enjoyed this trip and all the experiences it has given me that I have never had before. Xx




This has been such an amazing and emotional trip and I will cherish the memories that we have made forever. Not only has it given us all an insight into the conditions that some people have no other choice but to live in and what charities like Ocean Stars do to help, but it has also allowed us to connect and form bonds with both each other and the Sri Lankan students. I am so grateful for being given this opportunity and everyone one made it possible and I'm already thinking about saving up to go again with team two...

Selfie time


Have had an amazing trip, I am so grateful I have had the opportunity to spend time will all the fabulous members of Ocean Stars and am happy that as a group we have been able to put smiles on children's faces. I think that we have been able to spend quality time with the locals and give the children an opportunity to just be children. Again, I am so delighted of having the chance to do this trip and give thanks specifically to my parents for letting me have such an experience


Sri Lanka Montage



Welcome Home

Flight home

We are all safely at Dubai airport, ready for departure. We are looking forward to getting home but we've all had a fantastic trip!

Welcome home baner

Parents, your sons and daughters have all been amazing, we are so proud of them all, as I'm sure you are too.

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