Saturday, July 9, 2011

Fins, Jelly Fish and Berries

Fins, Jelly Fish and Berries

Well the last week has been interesting. After injuring my knee surfing and the team leaving to Colombo, I thought I would have a lot of time to myself.... but not really. Kids are here 24/7! Every afternoon after school the kids come around to do some sort of repair to either their bike or their surfboard. Anyways I'm just about going crazy not being able to surf while I wait to my knee to heal. But in the mean time I've been shooting plenty of photos of the surf and filming. People tell me its character building.

One thing that I've learned since being here, is that if there's an easy way to do something, Sri Lankan's will figure it out. One of the boys snapped his fin out of his surfboard the other day and came to me asking if I had a spare. I didn't have a spare but told him I'd look round and ask friends if anyone has a cheap one. Anyways a day or two latter I think he got over waiting, because calls me over and shows me his new fin. He'd pretty much just cut away the top of the fin making two new plugs which meant the height was reduced by 1cm. It took me a minute to realise what he'd done but when I worked it out I reckon I laughed for about a minute. Having one fin smaller than the others isn't the end of the world, but I think it encapsulates the phrase 'Sri Lanka System'.

Its funny the way some of the kids sort of sneak into the property to hang with us. Like seriously some of the kids who tell everyone how bad we are, the same kids who throw rocks on our roof, are the same kids who come in and absolutely love spending time with us. They have every reason not to come and visit, and yet the joy and excitement I see on their faces when they come and hang out seems to far outweigh any reason for avoiding us. Its real good to be able to be a part of creating an environment which is loving, safe and fun. And it really is the people which make that environment. The funniest part is when they put on their Sri Lankan techno beats and get in a big circle and film each other dancing.

If anyone watched one of those tv shows or movies where the main characters travel to do a difference dimension or universe and everything sort of appears the same, but everything is done differently. Well I think that's sometimes how I feel here. I remember this game that we used to play at the beach where dad would throw the ball and we would stand in the shallow water so we could dive to the side and try catch it. So I attempted this game with a couple of the kids yesterday down by the beach because they absolutely LOVE cricket and I thought it be a big hit. Except we didn't have a tennis ball... So I guess the next logical thing to use was a jelly fish. About 40 mins later the jelly fish was still in tact and doing quite well. Same game; just done a little differently. As we were leaving I looked over and one of the kids had found a piece of string and tied the jelly fish around his neck as a necklace. Very innovative I thought.

Yesterday afternoon was the Sunday School excursion. So the pastor hired a school bus as you can see in the photo, and we went picking berry's in the jungle. Very fun afternoon, although I was a little concerned that we didn't do a head count before we left because kids were just jumping off the tractor every hundred meters or so and running off into the jungle because they'd spotted a tree full of berries. Was also concerned a wee bit concerned of something eating us. I mean one of the local men was telling us that their was a big crocodile that lived in lake, but that didn't seem too worry the kids as they ran along the water's edge and bear foot to get to their next tree. I have to say but the lack of regulations in Sri Lanka is sort of refreshing. Kids don't need forms from parents, they don't need their allergy medicine, and they don't even need shoes. In fact one kids had cut a plastic bag and put it on his head as a hat. I think he realised it wasn't working when his head was heating up like a greenhouse and his hair was soaking wet.


  1. Andy, great to hear that your adventures continue and love to hear how you are thriving. There's something so profound about loving the people of Sri Lanka and it sure gives us such a peace knowing that you are there to love on our Sri Lankan families while the Lord has us away during this time. We love you! Keep it up! You're doing a great job!

  2. great stories andy. keep em coming.