Things here in Sri Lanka have been amazing. The experiences with the children have been life changing to say the least and I find myself speechless and heartfelt. I find myself overwhelmed with emotion on a regular basis, mostly joy from spending time with the children at both Sambodhi Home and School for the Blind and Deaf. The people that I’ve met have renewed my faith in humanity and nurtured a love for children (though I’m not as keen on American children) Even though most of the emotions I’ve felt have been positive, I’m harboring a deep resentment for the people here who have made this culture, and government what it is today and in-turn treated these amazing children like this. My anger is deep seeded now more than ever, and I would relish in the moment to have alone with these individuals and show them some muay thai knees and elbows! Nonetheless, this trip (and it’s only the beginning) has been much needed nourishment for my soul and opened my eyes in ways that cannot be described by words. I feel lucky, blessed, fortunate, etc to have this opportunity and share it with people I care about both here on the ground and back in the states. Because of their support this trip was made possible, and I’m forever in their gratitude.
On a different note, the country of Sri Lanka is extremely poor and run down. The streets are filled with garbage, bugs and a smell that no description can capture. I’ve been in third world countries in Central America but nothing like this on a regular basis. The place we’re staying in is dirty, dilapidated, run down and full of bugs (which is a big test of my patience and comfort, but has given me extraordinary perspective on what life is REALLY like here and what the people we’re helping have to deal with on a daily basis. My room is not the Marriott, but more like a run down motel in a bad neightborhood (minus the roaches, thank God, but filled with other critters), dirty (another REAL test for me) and includes a mosquito net, which is the only way to sleep at night (plus Ambien – thank Wyeth for that!). I could never believe that I would have the ability to tolerate living on conditions like this, but after witnessing what the women and children of Sambodhi HAVE to live in, it seems like a 5-star hotel. I have no right to complain about anything here or EVER after bearing witness to what I’ve seen. It’s open my eyes, heart and soul seeing the things I’ve seen here and makes me wonder why I’ve EVER complained about the things I thought REALLY mattered (which turned out to be minuscule in the grand scheme of things.
Thus far, this trip has been nourishment to my soul and an amazing continuation of a year that will change my life forever as well as forging a path for my future.