It was an amazing time at the Inspire Village! Instead of spending 9 official days off from April 24 to May 2 to relax after work, we decided to make the holidays meaningful by organizing a community service trip to Sri Lanka together with 10 other members, and it was beyond our expectation! The trip was incredibly amazing, fun and full of beautiful memory. We were hosted by Inspire Village located in Talawa, which is approximately 4 hours by car from Bandaranaike International Airport. All the people of Inspire Village welcomed us with their kindness and hospitality; what we did not expect was that the food was cooked by chef who has experienced working for a 5-star hotel in Hong Kong and Dubai! We were fed three times a day with delicious meals and it was totally such a motivation for us to work harder!
For the first two days in the camp, what we mainly did were mixing concrete to help the people in the nearby village build their house. We had to mix sand, rocks and cement together with water to build the floor. It sounds easy right? Yet, the work was not that hard but requires so much physical strength, thus we needed to divided into three teams and each team have their own tasks. Our group consists of 9 female members and only 3 male members; despite of heavy objects and the heat under the sun, everyone was so enthusiastic and active in doing their own task. We were extremely happy to see the result after three days; even though the house still needs to be fixed but for most of the part we already completed it. We felt that our small contribution really did make an impact for the people there.
In the evening we also boned over by learning some simple Sri Lanka language and traditional dance. We had so much fun dancing and singing with our wonderful teacher!!!
The Vesak Festival was in two days so after completing the concrete we moved to the nearby temple to help them prepare for the festival. We again divided the group into 2 teams, team 1 did the cleaning and team 2 hang the flags up. In the next morning we had a chance to join in one of the temple main activity: stop the passenger on the street to offer them food. At first we had no idea why they wanted to do such a dangerous thing, but then we realized that they were teaching us how to give and receive and we learned a lot from that. The high school students were very cute, always smiling and helpful; we had such great time working together with them. In the afternoon, we helped to serve free food to the people coming to the temple. Again, another productive day really motivated us to do better.
Next day, we had a really great time at the National Park with the elephants. For the first time ever we were able to see the elephants and other wildlife animals in the jungle, and this experience was really worth it! Sri Lanka has offered us the best nature ever!
It was time to say goodbye to the people at Inspire Village; we would leave for Kandy for one day then head to the airport. We really appreciated what you have done for us and we also hope that we could make it back to Sri Lanka in the very near future!