2012 visit to Kudawella
Amanda Fitzgerald and Andrew Guite visit our partner school, Kudawella. February 2012.
Day 1 We set off early and were slightly concerned we may have extra baggage weight!
However, safely on board Sri Lanka Airlines we were excited about our forthcoming visit.
Ayabowen! We arrived to the feel of warm sunshine and after an exciting six hour taxi ride through the manic streets of Colombo to the stunning coast of Sri Lanka, we arrived at our beautiful guest house.
We were welcomed with fresh mango juice and after dumping our bags in the rooms we checked out the beach!
Day 2 We met with Niroshini and Hemali and discussed the plans for the coming week.
We said goodbye to Niroshini, her husband and daughter and set off with Hemali to visit Mulkirigala Rock Temple.
After three bus rides we arrived at the roadway to the Rock Temple.
The monkeys were surrounding the temple!
Hemali explained about the statues and fantastic artwork throughout the temple.
The steps got steeper the higher up we went!
Hemali and Andrew resting at the top!
On the way home we stopped at the market for a snack! Bananas anyone?
Day 3 Sunday we had a day out with Hemali, Niroshini, her husband and daughter. We began the day at 5.30am and our first stop was the new Harbour.
Our next stop was a salt factory, this was very interesting and whilst we were there the teachers organised a field trip for the students at Kudawella.
Next stop a boat ride around the reservoir! Nelinma was very excited!
We enjoyed a picnic breakfast of noodles and bananas.
Hemali buying fruit as an offering before entering Kataragama Temple. This temple is held sacred by Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims. The most important shrine is dedicated to the God Kataragama who is believed to reside here.
Watching the traditional dance.
Cooling off in the sacred Menik Ganga ‘Gem River’.
We were treated to a wonderful lunch at Hemaliâ€™s cousinâ€™s house. From there were visited Yala National Park. We were lucky enough to have great guides and spotted leapods, elephants, parrots, crocodiles to name but few!
On the safari jeep and paddling on the beach at Yala park!
Day 4 Visit to Niroshiniâ€™s house, Dondra and Matara
We enjoyed a delicious meal of Dahl, rice, chicken and noodles followed by fresh pineapple and water melon.
The spectacular British built Dondra Lighthouse which is the most Southern point of Sri Lanka. Next stop, Antarctica.
The view from the top was fantastic and well worth the 222 steps.
We all enjoyed the view from the top!
Treated to a King Coconut!
Visiting Devi Nuwara Devalaya and the standing Buddha.
After having tea at another teacherâ€™s house we had a tuk tuk and bus ride to Matara.
The island temple and the beautiful sunset over the ocean.
Day 5 Our first day at Kudawella School.
We were warmly welcomed by the children, teachers and Principal. We were presented with flowers, betel leaves and the school band led us into the school.
We joined the school in the assembly hall and were treated to traditional dance and song. The children performed the Hokey Cokey and we felt truly welcome.
Lighting the lantern.
More traditional dancing in beautiful dress.
The Hokey Cokey
We were taken on a tour of the school and visited each class.
The playing field in the middle of the school.
A class of 4 year olds! We sang â€˜Incy-Wincy Spiderâ€™ and the children joined in with the actions. Some older girls performed a traditional dance they had been learning for their final exam next week.
Mrs Fitzgerald, Mrs Lynage and Mrs Hemali joined in whilst Andrew played on the drums!
The children were very excited to open the sports equipment and were keen to try it out!
Learning how to feed the ball to each other.
Practising chest passing for netball.
The school library
After a phonics session we all joined in with ‘The Grand Old Duke of York!’
Day 6 We were invited to watch a domestic science lesson.
The children had bought the ingredients from home.
The boys fetched water from the outside tap. We then participated in relay races, cricket and football!
And shared Gorseland childrenâ€™s profiles with Grade 5 children. They were interested in how to pronounce the childrenâ€™s names.
Finding out about Olympic sports and reading the books year 4 children made at Gorseland.
We watched a game of Elle
After school Niroshini and Hemali enjoyed speaking to Sue and answered questions from Gorseland children in their assembly.
Day 7 We were sad to be making our final journey to Kudawella school.
The children were keen for us to take many photos of them and we promised to send them to Kudawella.
We spent some valuable time in the library with different classes and answered lots of their questions. We heard children read English books and Sinhalese. They read stories to us and we read to them!
We shared our highlights of the week with the children and they enjoyed seeing pictures of themselves on the large screen!
We exchanged our projects and the teachers were pleased to receive the alphabet collage that YR and Y2 had made.
We were sad to say goodbye to the children and the teachers.
Our final night was spent with Jude and his family.
Our trip has left us with wonderful memories, new friends, warm welcomes into peoples homes, gorgeous food and
knowing that the strong partnership with Kudawella school and everyone involved continues to go from strength to strength. Thank you and Bless You Kudawella!