Well, what hasn’t happened in the last couple of months?!

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November 25th 2006
Published: November 30th 2006
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Mavan AtapattugamaMavan AtapattugamaMavan Atapattugama

Gama meaning village. New Zealand Cricket funded village.
Reconstruction Work is progressing well, and as we move toward the second anniversary of the Tsunami it is good to see many projects are now complete or nearing completion. In the last month we have opened several housing villages including two villages funded by Cricket New Zealand and Cricket Australia with money raised from the World Eleven Charity Cricket matches played after the Boxing Day Tsunami. More recently we have opened a maternity health clinic and child centre. Construction was completed with assistance from a gang of skilled workers from UK, with the last five days of construction filmed by a UK TV company for a Tsunami Special programme which will air in UK on Boxing Day. My favourite project was the maternity clinic reconstruction, in the five days of filming it was transformed from a severely damaged structure with a collapsed roof into a beautiful completed clinic, complete with gardens, and fully equipped with medical equipment. Warm fuzzies 😊

During November we took a short trip back to NZ. We really enjoyed catching up with friends and family, in between binging on red meat, fresh milk, fruit, veges and all the food we haven’t seen in a year. In case you hadn’t caught up, we are expecting a baby in early May. Miriam has been experiencing serious morning sickness, and lost 5 kgs. So satisfying a few food cravings and gaining some weight was a welcome relief. As an expectant couple we are unbelievably happy, and grateful for this blessing that we weren’t sure we would ever experience.

In between work and travel we had some excitement in Galle when the Tamil Tigers attacked the Galle Naval Base with three suicide bomb boats and two high speed boats packed full of LTTE cadres. When the first bomb exploded at the Naval Base 1km from our home, Murray was in the shower and I was lying in bed. Two other blasts followed in quick succession shaking the whole house with windows rattling. We immediately knew something serious was going on, and suspected the Naval Base was under attack. Heavy machine gun fire started almost immediately, between LTTE on the ground and military helicopters in the air. Firing went on for over an hour. In true Sri Lankan fashion the phones lines immediately jammed as everyone tried to call their friends and family. Outside the neighbours were standing in their doorways passing on news and panicking about their children who were now at school. The men all went to the mosque to pray, while the women stood at their doors waiting for more news. Soldiers soon crowded the streets and police patrolled the streets in vehicles announcing from their loudspeakers that everyone should stay in their homes. So the office was closed for the day and we were house bound. Later in the day, after hours of silence, we decided to go and visit our friends in the Fort, to see if they were ok. It was eerie traveling through the deserted streets with groups of heavily armed Special Forces Soldiers standing on each street corner. The next day everything was back to normal and the streets full of life again, as if nothing had ever happened. However it was a sobering reminder that we live in a war-torn country and that for many people in this world, coping with war is part of their daily life.

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26th December 2006

Hi guys Hope you are feeling better now. Merry Christmas! Miles

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