Today I went with my housemates to the orphanage they are volunteering at. I didnt know what I was going to see so I had mixed feelings. I was pleasantly suprised to see there was a medical centre, education and good accomodation. We were assisting with the young children under five.
Some of the reasons these children are here are death in childbirth, where moms cannot afford to take care of their child, many are found at bus stops. Its heartbreaking to think of the decision people have to make here to give up their children or leave them somewhere because they cant be taken care of.
The children crave attention, always wanting to be picked up but they all had a smile on their face. There are two disabled children which got me emotional as I know that they will have a hard time. They will not get married in this country or be adopted here, there only chance is to go to another country. You have to fight back the tears.
This was a little girl called regina. There are over 30 small children here in cribs. Theres also a month old baby. The women who work here everyday are inspiring and volunteers really make a difference.
This girl stole my heart. Her name is wama. It makes you appreciate life so much. These children have no clue whats going on, probably for the best. Some of the parents do come back to visit sometimes.
This is rando. Such a character. They cant afford nappies here so everytime they go to toilet they have to wash them and put another trousers on them then clean the floor. Its hard going. I didnt take too many photos as it wouldnt be appropriate but you can see how hard it is in some countries. If someone wants to adopt a child here from another country they have to be married.
I was also told a few details that there is a facility here where girls have been raped. If this happens to a child under the age of 18 they are taken away from their parents and put in a security building to live. If this happens to your child you are unfit to be a parent and this is what happens. Maybe at 18 if they choose ,they can go back to live with them. Sometimes foreigners can have a chat with them but not often for their safety. You hear about orphaned children and girls getting raped but to see and be so close to it all really upsets you, and you admire the people who help them so much. I hope these babies have amazing futures and these can put the pain behind them and grow into amazing women.
Appreciate your safety and life ❤
My next adventure was to visit the turtle hatchery. Turtles are brought here mostly by the fishermen who have had turtles tangled in their nets or have accidently injured them. The people who work here collect the eggs from the beach to keep them safe until they are old enough to be released back in to the water. They hatch after around 60 days.
There were a lot of poorly turtles. Some had damaged flippers where you could see where the net has been caught around them. Some of them had missing limbs probably due to the boats propeller.
There was also a disabled turtle that had deformed short legs and a fat belly where his shell hadnt grown properly. It is a 1 in a million chance of this happening. He seemed happy enough. When the turtles are fit and well they are released back into the sea in the night where it is quiet and safe for them.
After more singhalese language lessons I was told about the tsunami here in 2004. There were over 30,000 casualties and over 21,000 dead. The host family im staying with was here when it happened. The son said there was no warning. They live just opposite the sea and were just standing in the street when they looked over and saw the water getting higher and higher. They started heading for a temple on higher ground when they realised their sister was still inside the house. After quickly going to get her they ran for the temple. They were in the water for 20 minutes. When they returned home their house was half full with water. Many houses were destroyed but thankfully everything has been rebuilt.
This picture was taken from their balcony.
This afternoon we all headed for the beach called wijaya beach. It was stunning. Golden sand and hundreds of palm trees lined up. The sea is clear and cool. The tide is very rough and strong this time of year but you can still swim.
Until next time 😀
Day 1 here in Sri Lanka and what an amazing place it is. Theres the hustle and bustle of the main street and the calmness of the ocean all outside the doorstep.
This morning I was briefed on the culture and history of the country. A lot of the culture reflects on the women. There is no sex before marriage and only 5% are divorced. The men bring home the money and the women are the housewives so if a couple divorce it is almost impossible for them to remarry as no one wants them. The women would also be left with no job so no money and sadly turn to prostitution to survive. A strange thing here is that if children move out before they are married it is considered a bad thing and believe the person will have many problems. The people are friendly and used to foreigners so you dont get much attention. If you get friendly with men they may think you are trying to get with them so I was warned to just say hello 😂
As the British used to rule Sri lanka, they have kept some similarities such as British education in English academies, same holidays, free healthcare and right hand driving.
In 1977 there was a civil war where the East were fighting for their rights as they were poor and wanted to be equal to others. This war lasted over 30 years but they never gained their rights. However the people in the east were not the victims. If they killed someone they were fighting with they would dress them in their clothes and pretend they were from their village. They videoed this and sent it out so other countries would feel sympathy for them. 😐
Today there is no tension and the east side is visited in peace. 😆
This afternoon me and my roomate took a walk to the main centre and to the fort. The fort area was built by the danish in the early 1900’s
It is very european style with narrow streets with cafes and souvenir shops.
This is a mosque for muslims.
I am staying right by the water. There is a big walk way in the fort along the sea.
I obviously sniffed this out as a dog lover. This was a beautiful store with clothes, jewellery, dog toys. All proceeds go to helping get dogs off the streets. There are many homeless ones here. I bought a toy for my dog 🐶
Now we are relaxing until dinner is made by the host family. 🍚