The water of the flood has now completely gone down and it can be started to help affected families and people.
If you believe at this point, we could start directly with the pupils of the Scholarships, I unfortunately disappoint. On the one hand, it was still difficult to contact a part of the students. On the other Reverent Vipassi Thero isn´t only the head of the project,
he´s also the spiritual leader of the village. So he also has the task of looking after the support of Nawimana and its population. The temple and the surrounding area around the temple were treated as a kind of communal base of the district and the district leader, a small „Medicine Camp“ was temporarily built. Daily donations of water, food, school supplies and others like were delivered from different parts of the country.
As well as lists of affected scholarship students, lists were also made for affected village residents. Because of the short distance, this of course went a lot faster. On the basis of this list the donated goods were now distributed to the families.
On Fridays afternoons we received again a very large supply of donations from some people from Colombo. This was so big that even a television team came to the temple to record this. As a foreigner, as well as a white man, I was something like a trophy for the reporter, so it took me some persuasion to stop them from interviewing me. In addition, he was not friendly, but rather tried to surprise me and get to his desired recording. I was quite happy when Kasun came to help me. Afterwards, I had to be hidden almost in the house of the monks. (I´ve heard that the report was only used to reach ratings, so it was quite good that I Escaped).
Subsequently the suppliers from Colombo were served in the Waiting room. It was interesting to talk with some of them. I have to say that I have met a lot of new people this week. Helping and affected (In the meantime, I have six to seven different people who try to teach me Sinhala words, often I just get mixed up with the crowd :().
Because the rules of the club only allow the support of participating Students of scholarship project, I was little bit between the fronts this week. On the one hand, I was surrounded daily by people who needed or still need help and support. On the other hand, I was not able to start with the work for the scholarship students, because we still did not know how many people actually were affected. As far as I could, I tried to participate in the work here at the temple. The thanking of some people to me was still unpleasant. I hadn´t really done something for them :(.
Impressive is the behaviour of the people. Already shortly after the end of the flood I´ve seen that many people simply returned to their houses and tried to do like nothing had happened. The left water in the houses was simply pushed out of it with brooms or scrubbers, the dirt on the walls, which had left the water, simply were washed with the already dirty water of the flood.
Also lesson were hold at Saturday.
Besides a small spontaneous class excursion around the center to the temple for practice driving directions, (of cause we also had a short break after the strenuous stairs running), we had a very difficult task to solve. A mouse had strayed into the computer room. To convince them of a better place to play, however, it took four people, almost half an hour and five brooms, which we put in the way of the mouse, which constantly flew from side to side. After she had crawled under the same table for the fifth time, we finally were able to catch her in a bag and relocate to a more practical place.
In my last lesson, the training of the pronunciation was on the agenda. For this purpose, some of the words the students already learned with Reverent Vipassi, like Feuerwehrmann (firefighter), Ärztin (female doctor) and also colors and numbers were written on the board with Sinhala letters (as far as it was possible). This was quite funny for the students as well as for me as a teacher, as most of my letters were written wrongly. So I usually had a student as an assistant at the board to improve me.
In the last few days, many students were called by Govindi Nangi or Tesheema akka for asking about effects of the flood.
At this point I can say, according to the current information, no families were affected of death victims. While the flood, nearly 150 students were affected. The majority of them were fortunately affected only indirectly and didn´t suffer any direct damage. 28 families of pupils were actually seriously affected, which is only one-fifth of the fearing number. But some of them are affected very hard so it´s get equalized.
After my lessons on Saturday we finally started with the van to inspect the first houses. The houses we visited that day were all extremely affected by the floods. Among them was the house of the family, which we had visited the last week at the temple at which they had been accommodated. As far as it was possible, pictures of the damage as well as the affected persons were made. Once again I was speechless about some of the houses. Partly because of the damage of the water, but partly because of the obvious pre-existing conditions. Of the conditions I can´t change anything again L.
In the following days, my daily routine looked similar. Until noon or afternoon we were at the temple, than we started with the van, once with the TukTuk (of course without Reverent Vipassi at this day (with the TukTuk it was the most fun againJ)) and have visited houses of affected families. Next we will see which families need financial support for their living space. Afterwards further damage such as cooking utensils but also clothes and further more. A bit slow, but it’s going on.