On Sunday February 9th David Hoole arrived in Sri Lanka for 10 days. He has been a generous contributor to FODAD taking part in several sporting events to raise money.
We introduced David to the school first thing on Monday morning, and after watching the children who had played in the band and performed in the National Day Parade proudly receiving their certificates of participation, he went to “inspect” the toilets and the shower s which had been built through FODAD with the proceeds of his efforts.
We then bundled him into a van and took him to the children’s home where we have sponsored two boys. They used to live in our village. Much to our amazement David even played cricket which was a first for him. The two boys were so pleased to see us and insisted on having their photos taken with me (Della).
On Tuesday, after visiting the school in the morning, we distributed the clothes and shoes we had brought from England for the fishing village. The parents were thrilled with the children’s clothes – so thanks everyone and please keep them coming!
On Wednesday, we took the Galle Road down South to see the women for whom we have now bought 3 sewing machines. We were thrilled that nowadays they have a little tailoring shop. Each of the machines is supporting at least eight extended families. A real success story! They gave me a beautiful sari but I am sure I will never learn how to wear it.
We left there and went to show David the memorial to the 1270 Tsunami victims who were killed on a train and in the adjoining village. It is a beautiful work of art and very moving.
On Thursday we had a wonderful morning at the orphanage in Colombo. The girls had organized a show which was both touching and hilarious in equal measure. There was a new girl from Jaffna who danced like a star from a Bollywood movie. She was very small and full of expression. We all got up and danced afterwards - I doubt that she was very impressed. On our last week here we will be taking them for a day out. They are really looking forward to it.
Friday was Poya – full moon day – which is always a public holiday in Sri Lanka though we did briefly visit the clinic we support in the morning. The February holiday is very special and involves parades of dancers and elephants through Colombo.
The week finished with a wonderful “Big Girl Party”. Throughout Sri Lanka huge parties are thrown when a girl starts to menstruate. An astrologer will determine the most propitious date for the celebrations. Udaya is the fisherman who does almost everything for FODAD in Sri Lanka. His daughter’s party was on February 15th. It was a wonderful celebration. Held on the beach with an almost full moon, it was just like a wedding. Everyone was dressed up, the food was wonderful and we danced the night away underneath the stars on the sand.