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Published: November 27th 2014
So I'm all packed and ready to go! I can't believe I've managed to fit everything into one rucksack. I'm so excited that on Saturday I'll be in Thailand with Ed!
On Friday I had a group supervision session with 3 counsellors who work in Sri Lanka. This was a chance to ask questions about anything we wanted in relation to our work or Sri Lankan culture in general. It was also a chance for people to deal with any frustrations they had about Sri Lanka and a good way to end the placement. We discussed lots of interesting things including our frustrations with how women are viewed in Sri Lanka. Lots of people have said they feel like women are often treated as second class citizans. Unfortuntaley there have been quite a few cases of women being touched on the bus. Sri Lankan women often don't say anything when this happens but this is starting to change with awareness campaigns coming over from India. However, many women in Sri Lanka are expected to be home by 6.30pm and they do not feel safe walking the streets after this time. At the supervision they said that this behaviour is common
in countries where sex is not allowed outside of marriage. There is no healthy discussion about sex in Sri Lanka and no sex education in schools. Hopefully things will continue to improve for women in Sri Lanka.
Last week we had our final social with the other volunteers that live in different houses in Maharagama. The social was at our house and we told them the theme was 'surprise party.' We decorated the room with Christmas decorations and when they arrived they found out that everything was Christmas themed. We played pass the parcel and lots of other games and I wrote a Christmas quiz.
At the weekend I was hoping to head into the hill country again but we were advised not to go as they were evacuating people because of landslide risk. So for the last time we headed to our favourite beach Unawatuna for the last time! We had a chilled weekend, getting drinks on sofas by the beach, eating italian food and swimming in the sea. It was a lovely weekend but I was sad that it was my last in Sri Lanka.
On Monday I was invited to attend a new project
where people have not been allowed in to work before. As this is quite big deal our supervisors wanted the activites to be really good. They began the day by giving us a presentation on the project and then we were given 1500 Rs (7 pounds) to buy materials and plan a session around the theme 'music.' We then had to present our ideas before we went to the project. It felt a bit like we were on the apprentice! We began the session by playing musical statues and a singing game. The main activity was to create a music video. Each group was given a song and they had to create a dance routine as well as make musical instruments, design a backdrop and create props e.g. microphones. At the end each group performed and we gave out awards. It was a really successful session.
On wednesday I was allowed to sit in on an addiction clinic with a psychiatrist at a hospital. Most of the patients we saw were heroin addicts. Addiction is treated differently here to in the UK. Most patients attend a weekly clinic rather than going to rehab. Patients are given sleeping tablets and
pain killers to treat the withdrawal symptoms and after a few weeks these tablets are changed to placebo tablets. Patients have to attend the clinic for 3 months and they cannot take drugs or drink alcohol or smoke in that time. If they do start taking drugs again and stop coming to the clinic during the 3 months the doctor will call the police and report them.
On Tuesday night we decided to celebrate Christmas as a house and to say goodbye because it is the last night we would all be together. Each person had made a handmade gift for someone else in the house. My secret buddy made me a christmas tree with photos of our time in Sri Lanka stuck on as ball balls. It was put inside a home made stocking with my name on. We also gave out awards and I recieved the award for 'most unintentional comedian' and 'loudest volunteer.' Not quite sure what to make of that! We sat around singing christmas songs and feeling a bit sad about leaving.
Finally, yesterday we had a cooking lesson with Amma (our house mother.) She taught us how to make pumpkin curry, dahl
and coconut sambol. So I will be cooking this for you all in the new year and expecting you to eat with your hands!
My next blog post will be from Thailand. I'm meeting Ed in Bangkok airport on Saturday! I'm sad to leave Sri Lanka but excited for the next adventure.
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