Teaching in Sri Lanka
As I stepped off the plane I wondered why I had chosen to volunteer in Sri Lanka. It has no Taj Mahal, pyramids or Grand Canyon - so why do I travel to the other side of the world, to a little island nestling in the shadow of India? Ironically, it is now - at the end of my two month stay - that I know exactly why.
I got on really well with my school children and it was so satisfying to see their English progress I decided to continue here, rather than transferring to the montesorri (as was my original plan) - which, again, was no problem to Projects Abroad. To fill up my day, I went with other volunteers to tsunami camp three times a week and garden school on Wednesdays (all in the afternoon); here, we taught English and did fun activities.
I have been really happy with my host family, with so much laughter in the house, never feeling as if anything is an inconvenience. The food in general is excellent, although I have a suspicion they may go easy on the spices in the curry for the benefit of Emma (the other volunteer living with my host family) and I!
So, in hindsight, I realise Sri Lanka is a perfectly logical destination. A beautiful, small country but not without its problems: beggars on the street, littered and hectic towns, houses still demolished from the tsunami, an upturned train carriage as a ghostly reminder. Jumping into a packed bus with the other guys, anticipating the weekend. An elephant amidst cars and lorries in Wadduwa. Eating roti with Emma. A night at Mambo's beach party. A Buddha statue. A smiling child. By being faced with all these images each day you not only begin to evaluate Sri Lanka's strengths and weaknesses, but also your own.