Sri Lanka Day 3
As the day started we were actually getting on the flight from Dubai to Uganda. Two of our team members were talking while we waited for the plane to taxi. A lady in front of us “sushed” them. It was so loud that many people in the section stopped talking. This flight was a short four and a half hours. I slept about an hour and a half again, but woke up a couple times during that sleep. We also had a pretty easy time leaving the airport. The only real hang up was when we went through customs. We got in the slowest moving line. Lolita was run into a couple times by People who had there baggage on the push carts. The guy who hit her the second time smiled as he walked by. At one point a lady spilled her bags off the push cart. Joanne went to help reload the bags. While helping the lady, Joanne scolded the guys that were sitting a couple feet away laughing. They looked like they work at the airport, but the did nothing. All they did was look at Joanne. They did not care.
The lady that leads everything we are going to do, Therese, and three girls that help her met us at the exit to the airport. She is an amazing lady. I hope to talk to her sometime when we are not out and about, so I can hear her story. The guest house was about an hour drive from the airport. I could not believe how much green there was before we got into the city! It is so beautiful! Considering all the traveling we had done, the hour drive to the guest house went by so fast. This place is amazing! I feel like we are in a fancy, hotel. The building I am has four bedrooms and a living area. The rooms are big and 2-4 of us are in each room. Then there are the bathrooms. Each room has its own bathroom with a ton of floor space, a toilet, nice big sink area with a light and mirror, and a super fancy shower. My roommate it Jayne. It sounds like we will be perfect roommates because we are both easy going about pretty much everything that might be a problem when sharing a space. I can’t wait to get to know her better. We talked a little while going through out suitcases and it turns out she brought a couple pairs of pants that are to short to wear here. Thankfully, she has enough to get her through the trip still.
After our little bit of down time we headed down to lunch. The food was so good! There was rice with a couple veggies in it, chicken curry, lentils, and a veggie mix with mixed fruit as dessert. The curry was a little spicy, but they are keeping it mild for us, so they can make one batch and nobody would burn their mouth off with the spice. I told one of my team members that it would still have been to spicy for my mom. One of the girls who helps Teresa sat with me during lunch. I talked to her a little. She just started working here in the beginning of January and speaks two or three languages. She is very sweet, but I could not hear her well over the noise of everyone talking.
After lunch we had a meeting with Therese. She explained a little about the culture and and the five areas/focuses their ministry has. She also told us the beach was a short walk away. I didn’t realize how close we actually were to it. Then she had us do a couple things. We had packets on our bed with stuff in it. She explained why they were made and had us turn some in to her. Each of us had a small paper with our name on it attached to the packet. Therese had us fold those and put them in a basket. They mixed the papers and had us grab one. Which ever name we grabbed is to be a secret and we are going to pray for that person during the trip. At the end, I think, we will say who we are praying for. We had a small paper hand in our packet too. We wrote on those what we plan to do during the trip. Then we did an activity. One of the helpers set a timer for one minute. The other one was at a stack of papers that each had a heading. Our job was to write on sticky notes what we know about or were expecting for each one. The headings are, culture, what do you expect God to do in and through you, protocol, food and clothing, language, and what do you expect to do this year/ what do you expect to do differently this year (for people who have been). It was funny seeing everyone rushing up to put their sticky notes on in the last couple seconds before the timer went off.
When we finished our meeting we headed to Heavena. We were able to meet the lead lady there. She talked to us about the culture and how women are treated in Sri Lanka. She told the story of someone, maybe even herself, who had to do so much more work than the brothers. This girl’s family lived a few floors up in a building and they only had stairs to get to their apartment. She had two or three older brothers. Anytime the family would by grocerys (or anything) the girl and her mom would be the ones to carry everything. The boys did not help and were not expected to. The culture here is so different than at home. She told us stories about a couple more people, but I can’t remember them. It is hard to remember what all happened this day. It is Tuesday and I had only slept three combined hours from the two flights since I woke up Sunday morning. Needles to say, most of the team did not function well this day. We were given a tour of the facility. Currently they have 12 women, 6 boys and 9 girls. They are amazing! They are shy, but started warming up to us by the end. We were given hot tea and a desert that looked similar to a spring roll, but was filled with a sugar and coconut mixture. Mari accidentally stepped on a spot of fresh concrete not long before we left. It was funny because it was not there when we arrived. She said she could sign it. I laughed at her and said it will be Sri Lanka’s version of Hollywood’s stars on the walk of fame. I wish we could have stayed longer.
As soon as we arrived back at the guest house, we started going through our team bags and organizing what we needed for the next day. I could not believe how fast we worked. Some of us walked to the beach after that. It was so beautiful! We even were able to watch the sun go down for a bit, but had to walk back to the guest house before it got dark. We arrived just in time to leave for dinner. They took us to a restaurant that we preordered at. We either had fish and chip or lasagna along with a soup or salad. The soup was Apple pumpkin flavor. One of the girls let me try hers and I actually loved it. I enjoyed looking at our team sitting around the table. Everyone was so sleepy (I looked the same). We were even saying things that did not make since. We laughed so hard. As I laid in bed writing this I actually fell asleep holding my hands up. Thankfully, I did not drop my phone on my face. My arms just fell and it woke me up. I decided then that it was time to sleep.