This year I went earlier than normal. My daughter would do her O-Level exams in May and I wanted to be back in time for this. So I decided it was better to take the extra week unpaid leave before my regular holiday and not after as I do normally.
Unfortunantely I found out that I would be arriving during the school holidays and it would take another 10 days before school started again.
3 months before I arrived the 100 boxes were picked up by Nishanta and some helpers and taken to Kandy. They were stored at Akka’s place.
As I had time I started unpacking the 50 boxes together with Namasha.
In 2 days the whole first floor was covered with toys. Afterwards it took another 4 afternoons to pack it again. I packed for 10 nurseries, 6 primary schools and 1 hospital ward. It was a lot of work
I went to town on several occasions to buy items such as varnish paper, rulers , scissors, pencils, crepe paper, sharpeners, poster, English games etc.
Every school gets, what I call , a goody bag with the above items.
During the others days I had a rest, went some times to the swimmingpool and had a walk around the hills of Kandy. I did some sightseeing as well which I hadn’t done for a long time. ( no time before) I even had time to go on a 2-days trip to the family of my daughter.
When I arrived back from this trip the children had gone back to school. So the hard work started. I had to visit at least 2 and sometims 3 schools in a day.
This was a pity as i had no time to speak to the students/children.
Kanchana ( my good friend and volunteer of the projects) and I went on a 2-days trip to the area where her brother and sister -in- law live. They are both doctor. He asked several years ago for help but then we had no funds. Now we could. The head of the village organised all trips to the schools. This way we could visit all 5 nurseries, a primary school and the hospital ward.
And we had even time to do some sightseeing. I saw the elephants in a national park and we went to a thermal bath which opened specially for us during the evening. Very special.
Unfortunantely I couldn’t visit all schools . But this time it wasn’t such a problem as I will come back this Summer so I can visit the 3 remaining nurseries and the big project in the East.
( I have done this by now and it was great. On of the nurseries I visited now, I visited 10 years ago as well and the lady was still teaching and she even used some of the materials I gave so many years ago.
The East was wonderful as well. Namasha went with me and 5 other men.
We visited the compound of the army. We gave the money to the wife of the bike repair man and the army will keep track on what happens with the money. They will also help to build the small repair shop. Next year we give the next part of the money for all the tools. For the last time I gave items to the nursery school in the village.
Akka gave some boxes to the other nurseries as well for which I had no time left.
I had time on my hand but not when I needed it. Thank goodness everything worked out because of the other volunteers. Next May we will distribute the other 50 boxes.