Two weeks have passed since I´ve been back here in Sri Lanka and except of my accommodation, figure and the even warmer temperatures nothing has changed.
Nevertheless many things be happened while the days, so I hadn´t time for writing my report yet. But now it´s getting time therefore.
So from the beginning:
After I was able to recover in the night from my long journey, I was picked up by the boys on Friday morning and brought to the temple. As already mentioned, nothing has changed here. Only a strange looking wooden frame on the square in front of the house of the monks was new. We didn´t stay at the temple for a long time, because already on the first day of my stay there was a funeral which let me immersed completely into the Buddhist and local culture.
The day after was already a Saturday and thus a day of lessons. At the all-morning morning assembly, I was greeted by Reverent Vipassi and the English teacher, and of course I had to say a few words to the pupils. Fortunately I had my small assistants (I am afraid now that he will not survive my stay here) as well as some learning materials with me, because I was immediately sent to class as German teacher. Most of the time I had to check the knowledge of the students. I have seen that I´ve to deal little bit stricter with some of them.
As usual I was free on Sundays. This gave me the opportunity to replenish my just less reserve of laundry equipment as well as some other trifles such as charging my PrePaid Card. A small detour to my former accommodation was also on my way. I learned that the grandmother of the family, who lived on the ground floor, was sick. So I didn´t want to interfere for a long time, and left very quickly.
At the following Monday there wasn´t much of an issue. Except for many preparations for something I didn´t know exactly what it was. In the meantime I was told that we were at the moment in the Vesakh time. This is the birth of Buddha and thus for the Buddhists as the Easter festival. So we were busy stuffing these styrofoam plates and tinkering parts for costumes.
On Tuesdays in the morning a funeral was on the program again. This time by bus. We finally denied the way back on foot. A bit surprising for me, we finally found ourselves on a section of the road, which was in the opposite direction of the bus line. On the one hand, it was interesting to walk sometime in the jungle-like area, but the sun was also incredibly strong through the leaves and so I was quite happy when we arrived at the temple again.
There followed the noon and with it a series of events and ceremonies up to the weekend. I am already jumping again so one thing after each other.
Already in the morning, many children of the „Dhamma School“, the Buddhist religious school, held on Sundays at the temple, had gathered.
These now stood in the middle of the village and were walking, dancing, singing and costumed out of the village up to the temple.
Unfortunately, I am still waiting for the exact explanations of this event, as well as the following days, so now only a brief but hopefully correct description with the pictures.
The morning of Wednesday I had free again. For the first time since I was here I found time to deal with my book „SINGHALESISCH Eine Einführung“. With the help of one of my former students (thank you little penguin ;););)) I already had learned the most of the Singhalese letters at home (especially for the pronunciation of german words it´s already a good help). So now I can continue with more words and first grammar rules (Tesheema Akka has only shook her head when she saw the set of grammar rules of the first chapter). Conclusion now: I still wonder about the lesser evil: Knowledge of letters for nothing or continue.
In the afternoon I was finally picked up by Gayan, Nadun and Kasun with two motorbikes. In hindsight, I was glad that this wasn´t the first time I was sitting on a motorcycle, because the road conditions here are not always exactly the same as at Germany. After a short stay at the beach and a kite flying, (After our dragon had caught another dragon, unfortunately both of them flew away. At least they were stopped by one of the tall palms.) we went to the fort next to the beach.
I was briefly given the opportunity to visit a Christian church, which is located right on the beach cause Nadun left us for some time so we had to wait for him.
I guess we would go back then but I was wrong. It was noticeable already that extremely many people were on the road despite the already beginning darkness. For the first time, except of katine pinkanme, I experienced a kind of nightlife in this country. It was full moon: Pohaday, Vesakhday (In principle as the Easter Sunday of the Christian).
In the course of the evening, we were going through the city in order to get different places and temples. Now I also realized why we weren´t on tour with the TukTuk, because of the mostly crowded streets we wouldn´t had a chances to get trough there. It is customary that on this and the next days, free food, ice cream and beverages will be distributed at temples or at certain places in honor of Lord Buddha. So we rattled the city center and tried us in some places.
As already mentioned, except for the fact that these are ceremonies in honor of Lord Buddha, I can´t explain exactly what it was (I hope to get more clarification about this in the next days). Nevertheless, it was one of the most impressive experiences I could experience during my time here and which I would very much like to do again.
The end of the day was unfortunately not quite as enjoyable. Since we were just near to my former place, we wanted to make a short detour. It was the birthday of the father of the family so I just wanted to say hello, since he was not there on my last visit and congratulations. When I arrived I learned unfortunately from the English teacher Mrs. Rathna, who is the sister, that her mother had died during the day. This of course aroused mood.
After the boys brought my back to my place.
Thursday. On Thursdays there was something to do again. Like the day before, when we had visited the various temples and squares, same thing were prepared at our temple now. Before not mentioned, the temple and the other buildings as well as stairs and railings were decorated with fairy lights. In the course of the day, we were busy hanging up lanterns, building chandeliers from small palm trees which we had to cut partly and other things. After we were busy with tasks until the early evening, a shower for all of us boys would had been necessary but the Deodorant with the smell of „roses“ which we had “borrowed” from the girls had to be enough. Again and again I was asked especially by young children for my name or my age during the day. Best of it were two little girls, who asked me after my name, for saying „Hi Felix“ every time if I met them again.
The scaffolding on the square was now disguised and decorated with lights.
Honestly I can´t and also don´t want to say much more about this evening. The pictures will explain the most.
Govindi Nangi as showmaster
The next morning I was picked up by Nadun, Gayan, Tesheema and Kanthis with the TukTuk. From my place we drove to my former place. There the funeral of the grandmother took place. As I have learned, funerals here are celebrated several days to allow relatives or friends from far away to say good-bye to the died person. Once again, I was offered the chance to come over for dinner or to have a drink in the evening with the family. But at this evening i couldn´t come cause I came home very late again. Same procedure which had already been carried out the night before was now repeated. Only the handing over of a small gift to the „artist“ was completed. At first these were handed over by Reverent Vipassi. Finally, I was put in his place to give the gifts to the children. Unpractically, no one translated anything for me, so I just heard my name and was standing there little bit perplexed before I got what I had to do.
Despite the late return to my room, I had to get up early the next morning because of the lessons. After 20 minutes I already had to stop with lesson because the whole school went on a bus to the funeral of the mother of the English teacher. It was very crowded when four school classes almost stormed the small courtyard in front of the house.
Afterwards, we took the bus back to the center where the lessons continued as usual.
If you remember the headline – cockroaches.
Already a few days after my arrival, I noticed that I had some kind of unintended co-inhabitants in my room. Unfortunately or perhaps also fortunately I didn´t see them at first. When I finally saw them, I realized to the horror that it were cockroaches. Because on Wednesdays and Thursdays all the shops were closed cause of Vesakh, I had to wait until Friday to get a spray against. Unfortunately one of them got lost in my small suitcase, fortunately only my technical equipment are there inside. Enough for me to go hunting armed with flashlight and empty bottle even as far as it went to eliminate some of it. The insect spray which I finally got on Fridays made my hunt finally much easier because since there I haven´t seen any cockroach anymore.
The conclusion of my now very long report:
So far I have not been able to accomplish anything from the things I have to do because of the religious time, so I hope that the time will come for the next few weeks.
If I´ve found little bit of time, I have spent with the attempt to practice letters as well as applying to colleges.
Otherwise it´s like if I had never been away.