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November 10th 2014
Published: November 10th 2014
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I am now three quarters of the way through my placement in Sri Lanka! In some ways it has gone so quickly but it also seems like ages ago that I was on the plane here. Projects went well this week. My favourite one was a special needs project where we did children's party games with them. We played pass the parcel with forfeits inside that encouraged them to be active such as "do 5 star jumps." We also did egg and spoon races, pin the tail on the elephant and musical chairs. After lots of running around we did a craft activity where they all made crowns to wear. It was a really good session and everyone engaged with the activities.

On Thursday we had the day off because it was Poya day (a Buddhist holiday). We headed into Colombo and went to a shop called Odels which is the Harrods of Sri Lanka but not nearly as expensive! We spent a lot of time browsing and the girls bought lots of Christmas presents. After that we had lunch in Vihara Maha Devi park which was really pretty. It was weird because there were lots of young Sri Lankan couples wondering around holding hands and hugging which is usually disapproved of in Sri Lanka. We were unsure why it was suddenly ok to behave like this in a park. We wondered through the park looking at the ponds and we also saw parrots and travelers palm trees (really cool looking park trees.) As it was my Mums birthday we laid a paper flower that one of the children I teach had made for me and some photos next to a tree by the river. I was happy to have the chance to go somewhere so pretty to do this on her birthday. Next we went to the Kingsbury hotel which is a 5 star hotel in Colombo and we paid to use the facilities there. It was such a luxury to swim in the pool and we had a really lovely dinner there too.

We were hoping to go to Kandy at the weekend but because of the recent landslide in the hill country we were not sure if it was safe and so we went to Tangalle beach instead. We arrived quite late on Friday night and we couldn't find anywhere to eat. We came across this Sri Lankan man who said he would take us to his friends restaurant. There was nobody in the restaurant and they set up tables for us on the beach and a sound system that we could play our ipod through. It was like having our own private party on the beach. The food was a bit dodgy but it was a really good atmosphere. On Saturday morning we went kayaking on a lagoon which was so much fun! (Although some people were a bit scared there might be crocodiles in the lagoon.) The beach next to the lagoon was breathtaking, it looked like something you would see on a postcard. We went for cocktails on the beach after we had finished kayaking. The guesthouse we were staying at put on a BBQ for us on Saturday night and the sea food they cooked was so good! After dinner we went to a turtle conservation center with the hope of seeing turtles come up to lay their eggs on the beach or to see baby turtles hatching. The man at the center told us all about the conservation work they are doing as the turtle population is declining every year. This is mostly due to human factors such as litter and building hotels on the beach or killing the turtles for meat. We waited from 9pm-12pm but unfortunately we were unlucky and didn't see any turtles. We were able to see some turtle tracks which was cool but we were a bit disappointed. We didn't get to bed till late so we decided to have a lazy day chilling on the beach on Sunday before heading back to Maharagama.

Hopefully we will be able to visit Kandy this weekend!

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