Friends from England. 20.11.2010
From October this year Janet and myself have taken a year out to travel extensively in South East Asia. The opportunity has come about because I have recently retired after spending over thirty seven years working as a civil servant and Janet's employers have allowed her to take a years unpaid absence. We are starting our tour by spending the first three months in Sri Lanka,...
during which time we have rented a house in Marawila and are able to visit the Angel's Home frequently. We have brought 40+ new English books for the Angel's Home library to add to the books that we have already donated and hope that the girls will enjoy reading them.
We liked the way in which the Library had been organised and we have attended library sessions in which Mali efficiently manages the lending of the books.
We have really enjoyed renewing friendships at the home and making new ones with the girls that have moved in since our last visit. Apart from the magnificent new building we were really impressed with the staff's new blue and black batik uniforms.
The new Angel's Home was a revelation to us because, although we had previously seen a building site last year and had seen photographs on the website we were really not prepared for the light and spacious building and particularly liked:
- The large dining area, where all children, staff etc. can eat together;
- The stage, which is already in use for dancing lessons and can be viewed from nearly all the building;
- The work in the grounds surrounding the home - particularly the water garden, and
- The Computer Room and Library
Since we have been visiting the Angel's Home we have been engaged in many activities with the children – I have been supporting Mali and Sanduni revise for the forthcoming O Level re-sits, particularly with maths. and geography. Janet has been helping the children practising English and we have both been playing with the children, especially playing games such as Elle (a Sri Lankan cricket game), Karoob (a board game requiring skill), Stones (known to myself as “dibs”) and (Labyrinth also a board game).
We have also visited the special school, which Kumari attends ( much to her delight) and were treated to an exhibition of craft work, which included pottery, bookmarks, necklaces and Christmas decorations.
Currently, Frank and Julia and their staff, are working hard to ensure that the Angel's Home will be ready for the official opening on the 11th of January. We have helped a little by doing odd jobs and by helping the children and staff gradually move from the old building into the new.
Janet and I noticed how all the children are thriving and for that credit must be given to Frank, Julia and their staff, particularly Matron.