|First day at school|
And so we hope that at some stage later this year, a new school will be built in the grounds of the existing school to house them in a joint venture with the local nearby hotel and the Buddhist monk. He himself is keen to see progress made and it is him who runs the Jungle Nursery in the village where he was born. We really hope to be able to get down to see it next week; Della, Don and Tess visited last week and handed out new uniforms to the children, many of whom we’re rather surprised and somewhat alarmed to see white faces for the first time which isn’t perhaps so surprising given its remote location.
The final act was delivering over 20 soft toys to the children. The little ones, especially those for whom it was their first day at school, were comforted by the bears, dollies and other furry creatures and their tears soon dried up.
|Furry Friends (thanks to Jan and friends)|
Next, we went to the Village School. In the bright sunshine and strong tropical heat, it was hard to imagine the really poor weather the region has recently suffered. But we desperately wanted to see for ourselves the new roof and guttering which was completed last month via our kind supporters who “Raised the Roof”. It is a really good job, well done and tops off the old building which we painted to freshen it up on our last trip.
After some initial shyness, Callum soon made friends and started playing cricket with the boys in the playground – by the way, Sri Lanka is going Cricket World Cup crazy. We meanwhile spoke to the Principal about lots of different issues which had arisen since our last trip in September. Hopefully, we’ll be able to address many of them but, with a new roof and metal grilles on all the windows, the school will very soon be completely safe and secure.
And there were lots of other preparations to do for the next fortnight which will involve handing out new uniforms, shoes, painting desks and chairs, games days… it’ll be lots of fun but a lot of hard work.