I've finally left Anuradhapura to go and see what the rest of the island has to offer. I made my way down to Dambulla for some R&R and I wasn't disappointed. I spent two days in the 'jungle' just relaxing in a hammock. I did venture out of my bliss for an afternoon, to go on a bike ride. I discovered very quickly that Dambulla is very flat, I don't think I am going to ride a bike ever again in the Sri Lankan heat. On my way back I went through Habarana, I visited the herb garden and got a lovely rub down from a local in the middle of the garden. Well and truly an experience I'm not going to forget!
I guess I can officially call myself a teacher now. I've had a couple of weeks teaching and I think I have already caught the vibe. I can see why so many people want to become teachers, it's satisfying knowing that young people are gaining a better understanding of a subject because of you. Although it's not been easy, I've had my fair few disruptions in lesson in which I've had to act like a teacher. It really rolled back the years for me and I remembered when I was on the other side of the classroom albeit a year ago.
I've also celebrated my birthday in Sri Lanka, it wasn't the booze filled custom that I have grown so familiar to over the years but a really nice mellow day. One of the guest wrote a song for me and one of my classes sang happy birthday at the end of lesson. I guess now that I'm older it's the small things in life that I need to appreciate.
It's a privilege to be working with the teachers of English in Sri Lankan government schools, developing teaching, and supporting the learning of pupils through many different ways - but all through you, our volunteers. Join us - whether you are simply interested in working with others, interested in working with people form a different country and culture, in coaching, or in professional volunteering. All will boost your CV, develop your experience,and your view of the world we share, and give you a time you'll never forget changing lives.
There's always something happening at the village temple. Sunday is the day that children across Sri Lanka attend their temples' Sunday school and learn about Buddhism: ethics, the chants in Pali, and in some cases, English too. On the occasion of this visit I was accompanied by Sahan, a professional photographer, videographer, and journalist who has told me that I can use use his photos for the website. I didn't need telling more than once, and so here are some of them. I have a way to go before my photos have this depth. Until then, I'll be asking Sahan along a lot more!
A great note on which to end 2016, and a great way to begin 2017. Our newest education agreement will see us working with government schools, with the in service trainers, and with teachers to develop teaching / pedagogy in the classroom to improve pupil's development of English skills, develop progress in the classroom, and raise English exam pass rates.
You could join us here, working with teachers, with pupils, coaching English through conversation, sports, the arts, really making a difference in peoples' lives - and to your own, and your own CV.
We also wish to support MA / PhD studies in education, so if you'd be interested let us know.
We wish you, and all our supporters, and volunteers, a very happy new year!
At this time of giving, we at Give A Fig Volunteering would like to say a huge thank you to the people who have helped to make our first full year working Sri Lanka a success. We have agreements to work with government, universities, taught countless lessons, built toilets, donated food to orphanages, and enjoyed this amazing country and its wildlife. In January we begin to go into schools to train government teachers of English, and place volunteers in schools. Join us for true international teaching experience.
Our HQ and accommodation, which is an old colonial property set in its own grounds, will be opening in January 2017. We have had almost £3k in donations, 100% which has been spent on projects in Sri Lanka, and we are making a difference here.
Join us here in 2017 and make a difference in Sri Lanka.