Hello family and friends,
Postal Strike this week I'm afraid, not sure when it will end- but means replies of letters and things will take a while! Always looking forward to people's letters arriving so keep them coming J
News from the past couple of weeks:
Last Thursday was Poya day. We were all invited to Danu, a Grade 12 student's, house for lunch. First of all we were treated to a well wash in the local well, which was fabulous. Although they found it hilarious; maintaining dignity while wearing a sheet with holes in, throwing buckets of water over your head and then trying to get dressed underneath a hand towel is something which Erin and I have not yet quite achieved.
Afterwards we were brought back to her house for a delicious meal made by her lovely mother, and fed until bursting point. After lunch Danu and her mother dragged Erin, Jo and I through to the living room and promptly gave us bracelets, necklaces and earrings as a welcome gift. They were so kind and generous, it made us feel really welcome and we have definitely made a new friend!
One of the English teachers from Welhengoda (where we teach mon-wed) invited us to visit him at his house and see his tea field. We cycled through the most magnificent paddy fields, with men covered in mud surrounded by beautiful white birds and massive buffalo. He gave us a cup of tea and some very strange purple pancakes before we went outside so he could show us his tea and how he picks it. We had a go at picking, but wimped out because of the rain. Next time you have a cup of tea from Sri lanka, it could've have been part of the batch handpicked by us!
Mihiripenna/ Rant of the week
Last Friday Jo visited Mihiripenna, the school we teach in Thursday and Friday. The teacher's response to her was incredible! The male English teacher actually engaged in conversation, instead of his usual expression of a desperate man looking for escape from terrifying females. Our most recent conversation involved a hello, then a rather desperate conversation maker from me, and him exclaiming "I must go before the gases eat my stomach"!
The music teacher even invited Jo to spend break with her! Erin and I have determinedly been trying to MAKE FRIENDS for the past 2 months, smiling madly at every teacher and attempting in our limited Sinhala to talk to them. Possibly the mad smiling may not have helped but they tend to treat us like slightly useful, but smelly pets. Most break times we have attempted to find or sit with anyone they promptly leave or move away from us, now we tend to sit in the English classroom eating as much of the school roti as possible.
At break the music teacher treated us to a song on the accordion/ piano thing which is a traditional Sri Lankan instrument. Having previously told Jo and Erin (I really do not know when to keep my mouth shut!) that I could play a bit of piano, I was coerced/forced up. While Jo pumped the accordion bits, I bashed out the chords I could remember from Wild Horses by Natasha Bedinglfield, along with the words. Although I don't think they were exactly impressed by the performance it felt like we were actually connecting with them. And if Jo's visit doesn't work, our next plan to get the teachers to like us is to bring a huge cake in. Hopefully they can't resist that!
I had to go into Galle to collect a parcel from mum. The guy at the first desk made me look through 25 photos of Sri lankan fish from the internet and told me he would give me free diving lessons. After what felt like 5 hours of eels, I finally managed to escape to the customs desk. My package, with personal items, was then opened by two very confused males, while I attempted not to burst out laughing!
I was wearing my Kandyan sari, it turned out the customs officer was from Kandy; he seemed to feel this meant we had some sort of affinity and told me the package was free. I tried to insist on paying, but as a bigger crowd grew, and the contents of the package was still strewn around the desk I decided to grab my stuff and get out before anyone else:
1. Decided I was their new best friend
2. Showed me their fish
3. Examined the contents of my package
Incredibly annoying feet
Not much news from the past week as have been stuck in the house with the very exciting ailment of an infected corn which was removed last Thursday. (that's probably already more than you needed to know!) It just involved a trip to the doctors, a local anaesthetic and a few stitches. Unfortunately as it is combined with a sprained ankle, recovery has involved lots of sitting around, watching films, eating chocolate and pretending I am in great pain so that Erin will bring me another cup of tea. Oh, and breaking the toilet seat. Hopping around the bathroom is not a good idea.
Got to go now, Erin and I are doing resources this afternoon and Isurani and Kalpa are coming round to watch a film.
Hope you're all well.
Lots of love