I found what I typed a few days ago . . . . i'm now in Chennai it's 8 am Monday morning Jan 10. internet access is not close to my hotel nor is it very fast so hoping to get a cell phone today. Also on my list of things - an adapter - the one i brought doesn't work; shopping for clothes and an ATM that actually has money in it.
Love you Bubba
In Sri Lanka:
At the train station a nice young man who couldn't speak conveyed to me that my car would be at the other end of the platform. The train ride to Batticaloa was very pleasant, there wasn't anyone that appeared to speak English but they smiled at me, the kids stared, not sure if they were fascinated or scared of me. The first class car had a big observation window, ceiling fans and the side windows opened for a nice breeze and view.
We passed miles upon miles of shacks - from what I saw it appears that most of Sri Lanka lives in poverty. Also miles of rice, corn, banana trees, coconut trees and torrential rain. I forgot to check on that detail before deciding to come, it was quite flooded in some areas from 10 continuous days of rain. Prince, the guy from World Vision, met me at the train and took me to my hotel, the Subaraj Inn. Very basic but pleasantly surprised that it had a small AC unit, again, that old world charm and everyone very friendly.
Prince picked me up in a borrowed van and we went to Udayanickshan's village, he said that over 2,000 families live in this area. The driving here is crazy - although there is one lane in each direction, there's usually someone driving in the third lane - right down the middle of the road - in the process of passing someone. Not unusual to be on the wrong side of the road with oncoming traffic, at the same time dodging cows and dogs sleeping in the road, potholes and people. They all seem to share the road. It doesn't seem to bother me as they do it all so naturally.
When we pulled up, I recognized Udayanikshan from his photo, they had a beautiful garland of jasmine for me and we walked to their house. The house was made from corrugated tin with a cement floor, apparently all new and recently built with supplies from World Vision. (Since Prince was the only interpreter, I couldn't ask if WV really did all this). The kids were all smiles, so happy, non of us could believe we were actually meeting. We sat and talked for awhile, showed them the stuff I brought for them, Uday pulled out every letter and picture that I had sent him from a folder, showed me his school work. We asked questions about each other, they wanted to hear all about Toronto. They asked how Nick was, asked me where my husband was.
We had lunch from a local restaurant delivered - I was a little nervous about whether it would sit well with my stomache but ate what I could. We all got in the van and drove down to the beach, I think the kids were more excited about going for a ride than anything else. We said our good byes and Prince drove me around showing me all the stuff that World Vision has done. I know alot of people think that their money is wasted on administration, but I do believe that some of it gets to these people, and a little buys so much here, it's ok with me.
There's alot of neat stuff I've seen here but can't write it all down.