I had a wonderful experience in Sri Lanka and I can’t thank the Hemantha and the team enough for what they gave me. I’ve learned so much and I was able to discover a different country and culture, in a way this experience alone was enough to teach me many things. I started my journey with the introduction week which is great because you really learn a lot about the life here in Sri Lanka. The religion, the spicy food, batik art, massages and so on.
Then, on my first weekend I went to Ella and Horton plains with the other participants of my introduction week. Horton plains was amazing and so was Ella where we visited the Nine arches bridge and little Adam’s peak (which is a great place to witness the sunrise). We came back to the accommodation by the famous train and the view was astonishing. After that I started my projects. I did two weeks of temple renovation which was great and the food was so good. Between these two weeks I went to Yala park where I saw leopards, elephants, buffalos, peacocks and crocodiles. Then, we headed to Mirissa and Unawatuna. I loved Mirissa and its atmosphere with coconut trees.
Hill country, where I taught monks and renovated a temple, was also a wonderful place to be. The teaching monks was an amazing project as they really want to learn and they are very smart and kind. Honestly, it was my favorite project! Just before going to Hill country we went to the elephant orphanage but since it was a bit expensive, we went to a nearby place where we were able to feed, bathe and take an elephant on walks. It was very impressive to see and spend time with an elephant from that close! I came back from Hill country on Friday afternoon because it’s a very quiet place( it feels good when you go to Hill country after being in Kandy amidst all the activities and noise).
That weekend we went to the pool, which was great even if it started raining a lot. There were a lot of us there, so we had fun. During my fifth week I did special needs project, which was very fulfilling because you realize how lucky you are and in what misery some people are living. I am glad I did it and I think everybody should join this project because it gives you an amazing feeling that you need to feel at least once in your lifetime. Then, we went to Trincomalee for the weekend. We laid down on the beach, snorkeled (we swam with fishes, sharks and turtles) and we visited fort Frederick which was great and saw a temple near the bus station which was just amazing. I can’t describe it in words but this temple was just one of the prettiest temples I have ever seen in my life.
One of the things which I will remember from my journey in Sri Lanka is the atmosphere and the accommodation in Kandy. It was a wonderful opportunity to be there because you meet so many people from different countries and you learn so many things about the way things are in the world as everybody is sharing their experience which is very interesting. You make so many friends and it’s crazy. Then during the weekends, you go and explore Sri Lanka. Our journeys to Yala park, Mirissa and Trincomalee were unforgettable memories. My best trips were definitely Ella (Little Adam’s Peak at sunrise and nine arch bridge), Mirissa (the beach, coconut hill, shady lane, the parties on the beach at night), Yala park (5th safari) and Trincomalee (beach, snorkeling with sharks, turtles and fish in pigeon island and amazing Hindu temples).
I passed eight weeks in Sri Lanka and in the end you really feel at home there and it is such a great feeling to have so far away from home. Also I have to point out how amazing the staff is. Everybody is just so nice, Hemantha is a life saver and has answers for all your questions and the cook is so good, I have never eaten abroad and local, so well than I did in Sri Lanka.
Mary Victoria, Belgium