Trip Start Oct 20, 2004
44Trip End Apr 26, 2005
When Andy and I woke on the morning of the 29th, we were ready to give up on Sri Lanka and return to Singapore. Our frustrations on various levels have been exacerbated by the awful side-effects of the anti-malaria medication. In addition to vertigo and nightmares, we've both experienced horrible mood swings during which the lows envelop us into dark pockets of hell. By Saturday morning we felt that we'd had enough, and were prepared to leave Colombo as soon as possible. We had one final meeting with the YMCA Sri Lanka and were ready to move on. Then we had lunch with Ashfaque.
Timing is everything. Ashfaque, with whom we had been talking for two weeks but hadn't met personally until that day, added yet another dimension to our Sri Lankan efforts
Kirinda is a small fishing village of about 7,000 people. It was hit hard, as was most of Sri Lanka's coastline; much of the village was completely leveled, including the harbor and its surroundings. Before the tsunami there were 38 boats, all of which were destroyed or seriously damaged. 100% of the villagers rely on the fishing industry, and many displaced families are currently living in refugee camps. The camps consist of rows of plywood shelters with tin roofs. We spent a while stopping from door to door to hand out the plates, towels and soap that we had brought. It felt so insufficient, so ridiculous to be offering so little; I feared our small gifts to be more insulting than helpful. Our gesture was received with smiles and appreciation, but inside I felt ashamed not to be giving more. The experience was certainly humbling, and we left knowing that we had to find a more significant way to help.