Friday, 17 February 2012

Funday Times

Today was an early start as we had so much to fit in: presenting 25 children at the Village Nursery School with new shoes and socks, a quick visit to the Medical Clinic for Michelle and Rich who are spending their last 48 hrs of their holiday in Sri Lanka seeing the projects, the Annual Fun Day at the Village School and handing out a further 120 pair of shoes for the students.

At the Village Nursery, we were greeted with garlands of fresh flowers and each of the children lined up – as patiently as 3-4 year olds can!  After their initial shyness, they soon got into the swing of being presented with their own shoes and socks.  Sadly, we know that for some, it may be the only pair they get until next year’s visit.

By 0900 we were on our way for a flying visit to the clinic; a further one is planned for next week but we wanted to show Michelle and Rich the clinic which FODAD funds through our generous supporters.  Quietly, it gets on with providing free medical advice and treatment to locals, with no fuss.  Each year, we get an annual report on the clinic detailing how the money was spent and each time, we’re staggered just how many people benefit from this service.

An hour later and we were back at the Village School for the annual fun day event and presentation of more shoes to all the children.  Although some of the games were different this year – we definitely didn’t want to include the “eat a dry bun on the ground with your hands tied behind your back” completion – the format was similar to previous years with Della, Don, Gav, Steve and on this occasion, Michelle and Rich managing a team of about 25 kids from 5-16.  It has to be said that there had been various degrees of preparation by the managers: Gav came armed with Scooby Doo blowers hats and balloons which he’d bought months earlier off eBay.  Others chose a more casual approach and had party supplies from the local supermarket including a beautiful set of wings for Della’s Queen Butterfly team. The action was preceded by another demonstration by the school band and this time, both the Sri Lankan and English national anthems (cue embarrassing mumbles by the time we got to the 3rd verse of ours).

And so on to the games…  Steve’s Lanka Lions took an early lead excelling in the lime and spoon race – similar to the egg and spoon but the spoon is lodged between the teeth.  Don’s King of the Ring team put in a spirited performance in the sack race but by the time of the third event – “pass the water by hand in a relay to fill a bottle” – it looked like the Don and Della’s team were going to be competing for last place. However, musical chairs proved to be a hidden talent for Della’s team and the competition was still wide open by the time of the final event: balloon dancing.  Luckily, whatever talent Gav lacks in this department, was more than made up by his team who ended up taking the honours.  By the closest of margins, the Scooby Doos were victorious and all proudly received their medals from Della and Don.

With the excitement of the games over, it was now approaching 2pm and getting really hot so when it came to handing out over 120 pairs of shoes, the planning and preparation proved its worth and nobody had to stand around too long.

The Scooby Doos

Day’s like today are really worthwhile; whilst we constantly try and improve the quality of the education that the children receive, today hopefully also demonstrated to the kids and teachers the value of teamwork and that coming to school can be fun.

Waiting in line for new shoes

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