Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Day 14-15 Rotary Club of Kandy

Day 15
Gill and Michelle stayed with Carl, almost one hour out of town quite isolated but a beautiful location. Jim stayed at the top of the steep sided valley; with the President Ayesha and her husband Ravina with extraordinary views and sun rises. Dan and John were nearer to Kandy centre but the accommodation was excellent.
The day starts early in Kandy as we all make our way to the Queens Hotel to meet up with the driver and our hosts. A visit to District Governor Suri's match factory (Sun Match) ensued. It was fascinating as every thing was more or less done by hand including counting the matches in the boxes and even making the boxes themselves; the factory was a major employer in the area. Then a quick look at a printing business working overtime producing political posters for the elections much to the delight of the proprietor! Then also on the same site an explanation of how palm resin is extracted and its many uses. Everything in the tree is used and provides a valuable natural resource absolutely nothing is wasted without felling the tree. The king nuts themselves are harvested 12 times a year; leaves used for fences and roofs as well as floor coverings.
After lunch we visited Maligwa; the Sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic. This significant Buddhist Temple the most important in Sri Lanka and beyond is the resting place of Buddha's tooth smuggled into the country. This famous artist depiction adorns many of the temples.

Day 16
Our second vocational day where we split up. Dan, Michelle and Gill visited Mother Theresa Centre , Daya Nivasa. the experience was unforgettable and will stay in their hearts for a long time. For the rest of the trip Gill often referred to the time when she picked up one of the little ones and just wanted to take her home. No photos were taken inside for confidentiality reasons but what an experience.
John as part of his vocation visited the Agricultural Development Department and again gained a valuable insight into the work being done in Sri Lanka to optimise production without jeopardising the environment and future yields. This visit would provide valuable information for his PhD which he hopes to commence on his return. In actual fact this visit could be instrumental in him changing his research emphasis to Sri Lanka.

Jim spent the morning visiting some water projects funded by the Rotary Club of Kandy. The first the provision of toilet facilities at a local school. The school, D S Senanayake School had a primary section of approximately 520 pupils with very poor toilet facilities, ( only four squat toilets). The new block provided six new cubicules and a staff toilet. During the visit it became apparent that the school needed a sick room for the children. The room was available but needed to be kitted out with a bed, curtains , a fan, medical supplies, some paint for the walls and other items. The project was later put to the team who unanimously decided to fund the project themselves as a "thank you" for the wonderful hospitality being given. Ayesha and Jim then moved on to the Centre for Handicapped where 15 artificicial limbs were being donated to members of the army discharged mainly due to landmine injuries. The army does initially supply one fitted limb but these are not really up to the same standard. From there a third presentation was made through the equivalent of the "The Friends of Discharged Soldiers" of 10 toilet systems to enable disabled soldiers to return home as these replaced the sqat facilities which could not be used because of their injuries. The scale of the work done by this club was astounding as with the other Clubs we had visited the scale of the projects was facilitated by the extensive use of matching grants given by Rotary Foundation as Kandy linked up with Rotary Clubs around the world.
We all met up for lunch and shared our amazing experiences then all of us returned to the Centre for the Handicapped which had finished its surgeries and we were given a detailed tour of this remarkable facility.
The day finished with a fabulous BBQ at Carl's home the setting of which was as near to the jungle as we were to experience. The access road was almost non exisitant and the final part of the journey was driving over rocks! Gill and Michelle experienced this journey twice a day.

No comments:

Post a Comment