This year was a special year.
I was there during the Summer and not in April/May.
My daughter Sarina was with me.
Y4Y students were in Kandy at the same time so I could better see their high and lows.
The first few days we ( Sarina,Gamini and me) unpacked the 13 bags and 8 boxes and put them in several heaps such as cars, construction, puzzles, dolls, outside games , books etc.
Afterwards I looked what I had given the years before, what they asked for and what was possible. I also prepared 3 extra bags for new schools. I call it a starters kit. This is as always a lot of work.
Then on Monday ( we arrived on Thursday) me , Sarina , y4y students, Gamini and Chichandri went for an openings ceremony at the y4y school. It was a beautiful well -organised welcome. Then ( quite unprepared) I had to give a speech. Later on I had a final look at the timetable wich was quite complicated due to the exams of the older children (grade 10-12) It was decided that the y4y students would give hockey lessons every day as well.
That afternoon we went to town. I bought (as always) scissors, pencils, playdough, felttips etc. for each school.
The days after Sarina and I visited several schools. Long before I arrive at Sri Lanka I let Ravi (my driver) know which weeks I will be in Kandy. He often keeps those 2/3 weeks off. Some schools we visit by tuk-tuk and some with Ravi. I try to visit every day at least 2 schools
At 11.30 the nursery schools will finish, around 12.30 primary section will finish and secondary students will finish at 13.30. So we always start early.
The second weekend Sarina ,Kanchana and I went to Vauniya (North) where my daughter visited her aunt and cousin. for the first time . A very special occasion. After this very special meeting we headed off for Jaffna and stayed here for 2 nights.
We came back on Tuesday and the rest of the week we visited old and new schools again. The new schools I like to visit twice. First time to check if there is a connection between us and teachers and I will give the starters kit. On my second visit I give more if it is a school to take on.
Sarina went with the Y4Y students to paint 2 classrooms and kept the girls occupied at the Down childrens home.
The third weekend Saar went off with Y4Y to the elephant orphanage and I went to town to prepare for the next days.
Late afternoon we all visited a Down syndrome home where the girls gave a wonderful performance. I gave every girl a doll and I got a thank you present. Ever so nice.
You might ask yourself what I will be doing in town everyday. I will buy rolls of biscuits (for the kids), missing items (often presents for metrons), English books and posters (every day another shop) , go to the bank, change money, meet up with friends and sometimes I will go to Pizza hut to have a nice drink and a bit of A/C.
I always walk to town.
Monday and Tuesday of the third week were very busy and unfortunantely I couldn’t visit all the schools on this trip.
On Wednesday ( of the last week) we ( Sarina, Y4Y students, Gamini, Ravi and I ) left for our mini-trip. We visited Dambulla and Sigiriya in one day. Late in the evening we arrived in
Trincomalee in the pouring rain. The day after we visited our last school project. It gave Y4Y a good impression of other very poor areas . We saw the nursery school, the water dispensers ( given by Louisa foundation) and discussed their help question. Y4Y decided to pay for the see-saw and donated 5 bikes as well.
The last day was spent on the beach. A day to rest. That Saturday morning we came back, did our last bit of shopping, packed and I did my admin.
I normally put my Dutch money in all envelopes and give it to the 3 organisators. They (as discussed before) know what to do with this money. After they finish a project they will send me the photos on whats -app. They all got a phone from me.
We all had one lovley last meal at Amma’s place.
Sunday morning Saar and I left for the aeroport.