The time is flying by.
Like last week, Saturday started early for me. At 7:45 the TukTuk picked me up. In the beginning of my stay, I was driven by the TukTuk of the Children Centre. By now the brother in law of my host family drives me to the temple in the morning and sometimes also pick me up in the evening. His wife works as an English teacher at the centre.
Just like the day before at the Preschool, we also celebrated the “world children day” in the centre. For the people here in Sri Lanka the “world children day” and the “world teacher day” are very important days, much more than for the people in Germany. The ceremony started with a morning meeting. Then the children and many of parents formed a line in front of the temple. Things like foods and flowers were given by the line and laid down in front of a statue. After that the people went into the temple. Because I was a part of the line, I couldn´t take a picture.
The ceremony was followed by a presentation for the parents in the hall. The students went to their classes.
My biggest difficulty is still finding out what the students can do and what not. I experienced more than once that the students already knew a topic with which I started, but other topics, which I assumed they had already done, they had never heard of.
The end of the day was a trip to the beach together with Gayan and Nadun, Govindi, some of the older students and Tesheema, one of the two secretaries. Soaked with water and covered in sand I got home in the afternoon.
On Sunday I was able to sleep. At noon I was picked up by Gayan and Kasun with the TukTuk, and we headed for the Dondra Temple. Before this, the guys planned to visit the lighthouse which is also located nearby my place. As we arrived the gates were unfortunately already closed. So, then we drove to the Dondra temple. I have been there already during my first week. We were there for a brief visit to watching the elephants living there. This time we also went inside the temple.
The walls of the temple were completely covered with the images of the life of the Buddha. Under each picture was a corresponding description in Sinhala and in English.
We went to the Weherahna temple close to Nawimana, the village where the Children’s Centre is located. This temple houses a subterranean part, which also contains the history of the Buddha as pictures on the walls. When we entered the temple, a man spoke to us, introducing himself as a temple guide. During our tour through the temple, he told us about certain images on the walls and some of the temple’s characteristics. He also drew my attention to the symbols and signatures of former German tourists. At the end of the tour, everyone was given a small bracelet which, according to the Buddhist beliefs, protects you from bad things and dangers for the next three months. I hope it works.
On Monday, I was busy establishing the computer room, set up for the students on the, when I was suddenly called outside. As I had already mentioned in my last post that had visited a Buddhist mourning ceremony last week. Now some women were standing in front of the centre and wanted to speak to me. During the conversation, they invited me to lunch. At that moment, it had no idea why they would invite me.
At 1 p.m. some men with a car picked me up at the temple, and took me a few meters to the house where the funeral took place. Now I was aware of who invited me there. Some people wanted to know, who I was and why I was staying here. I learned from this that the mortal remains of the dead woman had been burned that day, and on this occasion the family had prepared lunch for all relatives, friends, and other people. Once again I made acquaintance with the exaggerated use of sugar. In the afternoon, I was taken back to the temple.
The following days are quickly summed up. During the day I stayed in the temple and tried to add some Sinhalese vocabulary in exchange for some German words with the boys and secretaries. In between, we received another delivery of umbrellas and workbooks for the pupils who had to be dreamed. On one of the afternoons we tried again to visit the lighthouse, but once again we stood in front of a closed gate. Let’s see if it will work the next.
Likewise, the trip to the beach with the two boys and girls in connection with some cricket exercises was repeated several times. Once again I returned totally soaked and full of sand back home. The habit of freeing my laptop from the sand in the morning already became a routine just as the crunching under my feet while walking in my room became normal.
Till next time