Trip Start Nov 01, 2005
41Trip End Jul 28, 2006
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Building work has started at two of Paul's sites....... more of that later and Chris is now the Twins Manager, which means she is overseeing the 100 Sri Lankan schools twinned with UK and OZ schools. The school for deaf children still doesn't have enough food or water and we are still trying to find enough money to buy additional beds so that they don't have to share. On a good note the building work is all finished so at least they have nice bright and airy dormitories to sleep in.
We have been here in Sri Lanka now for 6 weeks we can't believe how quickly the time is going. Our life is so different and we are amazed at how we have settled into our new routine. The first night we thought we'd never be able to stick it, now we're sad that we are half way through our stay and are dreading leaving.
Before we came out here some of you gave us money to give to a worthwhile cause, there is so much we could spend it on but having had a traumatic experience with a man begging for food for his family (Chris gave him the equivalent of 50p and he bent and kissed her feet....can't begin to tell you how that makes you feel). We heard that the government have stopped giving money to the people who lost their homes and are still living in the refugee camps
Anna, I have enough money from you to go to another camp later this week, so will go to the Oxfam Camp also here in Tangalle. Oxfam built the camp, which comprises of wooden huts, one for each of the 11 families. There is a tap for drinking water, which comes from a water tank and basic sanitation but it is pretty awful. The temperature here is in excess of 30 and we have many thunderstorms with very heavy rain, which then turns the site into a mud bath. The huts are stifling in the heat but in spite of this the children and their families are always smiling and love visitors. There is light at the end of this particular tunnel as a group of Canadian people have raised money to buy some land and are here at the moment starting on building houses. Paul has helped them to sort out some of the detail, it will take around 6 months for the work to be finished, but we are hoping the first 3 - 6 houses will be finished before we leave. The site is beautiful with many different fruit trees it will be so lovely for the people from the camp
We have enough money to help 3 camps so have another place in mind. Paul is involved with building houses for some displaced Tamil people who get a raw deal in this area because they are from the North East of the country, which is where the Tamil Tigers are based. We have heard from locals that since the election of the new President a couple of weeks ago there is likely to be another Civil War, we're keeping an eye on the Foreign Office website! I haven't been to this camp yet so don't know what the conditions are like, there are 18 houses being built so we assume that's how many families there are. The site where the houses are being built is appalling, the local council asked Adopt Sri Lanka to buy it and build houses for the Tamils, what they didn't say is that the land was a rubbish tip!! That said the Tamil people themselves are so happy that they will have a house they don't seem too worried. The only thing, which bothers us is that we have heard that one part of the site was used to dump Tsunami rubble and so there is a chance that there are undiscovered bodies. At the moment this part has been left undisturbed whilst further investigations are made.
This what £50 bought, we took advice from some Sri Lankan friends about what might be appropriate
130 kilo's of rice
26 kilo's of sugar
52 x 100grms packets of tea
13 kilo's on dahl
26 strips of Panadol
13 large tins of Salmon
3 tea shirt and short sets (for the babies )
2 pencil cases, sharpeners, packets of 12 coloured pencils (for the pre school children)
9 maths sets (protractors, compass etc) For the primary and secondary children
nail varnish for an 18 year old girl
12 drawing books for everyone except the babies
12 writing books ditto
We're finding out what a small world we have, since being here we have had a visit from one of the teachers at Walton Priory middle school, Stone
We've decided to spend 5 days over Christmas in the hill country at a small place called Ella as we don't want to be here in Tangalle on 26th, which will be the first anniversary of the Tsunami. Instead we'll spend a reflective and peaceful day walking in a beautiful place called Horton Plains, climb Adams Peak on Paul's birthday (yes even Chris!) and generally chill. So friends we wish you all a very Happy Christmas and even merrier New Year 2006.