Trip report 2022 (May)

I could go to Sri Lanka without too many problems. No test anymore and no papers (Covid). I only had to wear sometimes a facemask in Sri Lanka. So, it would be a normal working holiday again.
Oh, how did I miss this. Ingrid came later and would stay at Ramani’s place, and I would stay at Nishantha’s place as it would be too hard to find a tuktuk everyday because of the shortage of petrol.

In Negombo I met up with Desiree and her husband. We visited a new nursery and had a long catching up chat in the pool and in the rain.

The first 5 days in Kandy were filled with catching up with my friends again.
I also met Karen. She took clothes with her from Holland to give to Srilankan Hope for Children. Thank you. 

I also met up with Robin Handleman, a volunteer from America who came over for the third time to do a very special project this time (see different report). It was also special because it was the first time we met in person.

I met up with Indunil Gunawardana as well. He helped me for one day with the schools. He picked me up with his mini electric car and drove me to two schools. It was great but afterwards he told me the sad news that he could not help me anymore. It is getting more and more difficult to find people who I can trust and who have time to help me.

On the 7 day I started to do the boxes. I could not get myself to start before that time. It daunted on me and unfortunately Ingrid could not help me a lot because of problems on her foot/ankle. I worked very hard for 6 days.)
I needed sixteen bags full of educational materials, cuddles for the children, goodie bags for the teachers etc. This, while there were power cuts and there was a lot of rain. I had no curtains and woke up every morning too early which gave me a lack of energy. I felt at times very lonely and sad.
For the first time I thought if I would continue with Srilankan Hope for Children. It was getting to much. 

Nishantha spent time with Robin to arrange everything for the two libraries. In the meantime, the situation in Sri Lanka got worse. Petrol problems, strikes every day, less food etc.

But then a ray of sunshine came into the room. It was time for my biggest project this time. We, Kanchana, driver Ravi and I would go to nine new schools in 3 days. We went to visit five nurseries around Sigiriya and two primary and two nursery schools around Vaviniya. We visited family of Kanchana and the auntie of my daughter as well.

It was fantastic and everybody was so happy to meet us. We were spoiled with flowers and food.

Coming back there was no rest as I needed to visit some other schools as well. 

But then…. Everything changed.

Nishantha called me to come down and told me to watch T.V. with them. I saw burned cars and busses, people beaten up, protests, police, army, tanks etc.
A black page in the history of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka was bankrupt, and the government did not do enough.

Curfew was opposed. For several days. There was not a lot of food. What to do with my time? Boxes again, sorting out and checking all the games etc.
On the third day Lesley called me to stay with them for a night and to have some food. That was great. Out of the house. Tourists were allowed to go out during the day, but I never use this privilege as I am not a tourist. However, this time I did. On the way we met up with Krishanti who we gave English materials to set up an English activity room (yes, that was not really allowed.)

A few days afterwards I left for Sri Lanka. Again, it had not been a normal working holiday. 
Although I learned one thing. I need to connect with people, do some sightseeing and give myself a break so now and then!

Natasja Lammers