Below is a record of activities carried out by the 2006 Project Sri Lanka student group since their arrival on 4th July 2006 for 8 weeks.
July - September 2006
Project Sri Lanka 2006, our final thoughts
(17 Oct 2006) » More about Final thoughts
Pelena Cultural Show
Following the excitement of the cultural show at the University we were all looking forward to our last evening at the village. Three wonderful ladies from Sarvodaya came to help us put on our saris. It was wonderful to wear smart clothes and to show our admiration for the Sri Lankan style of dress.
(30 Aug 2006) » More about Pelena Cultural Show
Durham-Ruhuna Cultural Show
The first time we met the Vice Chancellor of Ruhuna University, he enthusiastically stipulated his desire for us to partake in a Cultural Show – a hybrid of the best of English and Sri Lankan culture. Yesterday we stepped up to the task.
(29 Aug 2006) » More about Durham-Ruhuna Cultural Show
Pelena West Mural
Being out in Sri Lanka has been an amazing experience. The first day in Pelena, meeting the villagers and seeing the Pre School that our money has helped to build for the first time will certainly be a memory I will certainly treasure for years to come. The sheer gratitude and hospitality that has been shown to us throughout our involvement in Pelena has been overwhelming. We have been made so welcome, hence when it came to discussing the projects that we would really like to achieve before we left I jumped at the opportunity to put forward my idea of a mural at the pre school. I thought a mural would be a great opportunity for the group and the village to join together not only to officially show the name of the school but also I felt it was a chance for the group to leave behind our own personal mark in Pelena, a lasting memory in the village of our work together. A mark of Project Sri Lanka’s first trip and achievements. A mural seemed to me the best way of doing this, something for the Pre School to be proud of.
(24 Aug 2006) » More about Pelena West Mural
We woke up to the sounds of the monsoon rain splashing onto the roof and our hearts sank. We’d planned a family day in Pelena West and it was raining.
(22 Aug 2006) » More about Beach Day
Buddhism is the dominant creed of the Sinhalese people (constituting 70% of the population) and plays a prominent and vital role in the country. Simple white Dagobas litter the roadside, the front of public buses are transformed into gaudy shrines and the drivers often make inpromptu stops in order to place flowers in the roadside offering boxes. The enthusiastic celebration of Buddhist culture caused great anticipation about Poya Day which fell on Wednesday 9th August.
(14 Aug 2006) » More about Poya Day
The Buddhist Monks of Sri Lanka
Buddhist monks are a common sight in Sri Lanka. Their bright orange or red robes (colour depends on status) often clad with a matching umbrella makes them a noticeable entity. Their presence is ubiquitous – on public transport, shopping, in the university canteen or lecture theatres and squashed inside three-wheeled ‘tuk tuks.’ They are sometimes solitary figures, but then big groups of recently initiated young boys with clean shaven heads are also common sights. Monks clearly command respect here yet their integration into the local community is prominent and emphasizes a feeling of cohesion and unity. They also hold a political presence, wielding a great deal of influence with the Sri Lankan government. Many believe that the most effective way to reach a conflict resolution in Sri Lanka would be to involve the monks in the peace negotiation process at local level.
(14 Aug 2006) » More about The Buddhist Monks of Sri Lanka
Mid-way report at the University of Ruhuna
The first two weeks of our work at the University was mainly without students because many were on holiday or were finishing exams. We started work immediately with the English department developing a new curriculum. Their current resources are considerably out of date so we produced a whole semester of lesson plans based on various contemporary and hopefully more relevant topics.
(11 Aug 2006) » More about Mid-way report at the University of Ruhuna
Mid-way report on Palana
We have now been working at Palana for three weeks now and it continues to be extremely rewarding. We help at the Pre School in the morning and we are now left almost in complete charge of the after-school club which runs from 3-5.
(8 Aug 2006) » More about Mid-way report on Palana
Our first day of orientation at the University of Ruhuna
The University of Ruhuna is situated in a beautiful campus within an idyllic setting. It is surrounded by palm trees and is set back behind an enormous lake. We approached our first day with some uncertainty after our unexpected and overwhelming welcome that we received the previous morning from the Palana West community.
(3 Aug 2006) » More about Orientation at the University of Ruhuna
Last week in Palana West
Our first taster of teaching in the Palana West DUCK school has been a very enjoyable, if tiring, experience! The whole community - from the permanent teachers at the school to the families we have our lunchtime meal with - have been incredibly welcoming. They seem delighted at our efforts to assist with their recovery after the devastation left in the wake of the tsunami.
(28 Jul 2006) » More about Last week in Palana West
Palana West opening
On Thursday 13th July, 15 Durham students sat eating their breakfast, nervously anticipating the day ahead. We had spent 10 days acclimatising to Sri Lankan climate, diet, language and quirky mannerisms and were about to see the initial results of the “Sri Lanka Community Project” … the opening of the Palana West DUCK pre-school.
(13 Jul 2006) » More about Palana West opening