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4 December

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 5 months ago

SUNDAY 4 DECEMBER.....

 

Breakfast at 8.00 and leave at 9.00 (or a little later as I have to leap and get sandwiches and water from the restaurant next door, as there isn’t going to be time to stop for lunch anywhere today as Kushil’s is a good 3 hours drive, probably more, apparently).

 

We get to Hikkaduwa about 1.30 (late already) and then stop to buy extension cable, which is urgently needed, as otherwise we can’t operate the sound system away from the bus.

 

I’m standing near the back door of the bus, waiting for the cables to arrive, when suddenly a young Sri Lankan rushes up to me, saying, “Arabella, Arabella!” It is Kumara, the tuk-tuk driver who drove me and Peat around to camps when we were in Hikkaduwa for several days in March. It is really good to see him. He was very good at picking up the parachute games in March and a real help. We swap cards and hope to meet again next time I am here.

 

LEFT: OH THE BLISS OF A SHADED VENUE FOR A SHOW! RIGHT: ANOTHER VERY HAPPY AUDIENCE!

 

At last Percy and Shane come back with the electrical leads we need, and we drive on the last few miles to Kushil’s. It’s very difficult getting down the road as they have built a ceremonial arch to welcome some famous cricketers who are arriving tomorrow. We have to drive round it in the end.

 

Kushil comes out to greet us - it’s great to see him again - he has done so well here! Since March when I was here for the ceremonial opening of his first “Model House”, he has built 200 more houses, and got 400 people back to work.

 

Because of the famous cricketers (which would have included Ian Botham, but he has just rung to say that sadly he can’t make it as his father is very ill - but Steve Bull is still coming) there is a wonderful, large gazebo erected in the main yard, with electric fans in it! We get them turned on, and what a difference they make. Goodness the performers are pleased!

 

 

LEFT: A VERY ENERGETIC "COPY ME!" GAME; RIGHT: DAISY DISCOVERS AN ENORMOUS ROCK (FOAM RUBBER) IN HER SHOE - NO WONDER MY FOOT WAS HURTING! BELOW: DAISY'S CLUB ROUTINE

 

Shane and I run parachute games while the show is set up, and the show takes place for about 150 children in considerably more comfort than usual. It goes really well - these are great kids, far more focussed and supportive of each other than at many of the camps we have visited - Kushil has set up so many good things here, like ongoing workshops with the children, and you can really see the difference it makes. Paddy even plays some trust games with some of the children - something which is simply not possible in most of the places we have visited as the children are too out of control. Hopefully this village can really prove to be a model of what can be achieved, and more and more areas can copy it and benefit. It is lovely to see something working so well and having such clear therapeutic benefits for the children.

 

We have to pack up and leave by about 3.30 as we have another long drive to get to Waduwa and need to be there before dark.

 

 

TOP PIX: JOHN HOLMES AND NATALIE BULL, WHO HAVE BEEN ENERGETIC VOLUNTEERS ON THE CWI TOUR AT THE MAIN BUILDING OF KUSHIL'S MODEL VILLAGE - BY THE WOODEN BEAM FAR ABOVE THEIR HEADS, YOU CAN JUST SEE THE WATER LINE OF WHERE THE TSUNAMI REACHED IN DECEMBER 2004 - AND THIS IS A GOOD KILOMETRE INLAND! BELOW: VIEW FROM THE OPEN TOP OF THE DOUBLE DECKER BUS AS WE RE-ENTER THE SUBURBS OF COLOMBO.

 

News comes through that a bomb has gone off in Jaffna (a Tamil stronghold in the North of the island), killing 6 and injuring quite a few more. We feel very sad. No one can say for sure if the election result will be good or not for the whole Tamil question yet - hopefully talks are starting soon, and one can only pray that progress will be made. It is a very sad situation and it really could go either way apparently. CWI is so keen to visit the East and North when possible - we really hope that new violence is not going to erupt.

 

It looks as though it is going to rain, in which case we will get drenched on the top deck, but luckily only a few drops drip on us before we eventually arrive at our new hotel. Dinner, planning for tomorrow’s session, which has been set up by IOM, and another early bed - we really are exhausted by all the travelling!

 

5 December

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