Summer Camp

OSI-Sri Lanka

8-22 August 2007

Pamunugama to Wattegama

8 August
On 8 August, all of our Pamunugama kids traveled to Wattegama where they joined the Wattegama children for a week occupied by numerous educational excursions, provided by the generosity of some very kind OSI donors.  It was a great opportunity for the Pamunugama children, coming from the coast, to see some remarkable historical and natural sites in the interior of their beautiful island.

Tea Factory Excursion

11 August
Thanks to the kindness and generosity of Miguel Hererros and Santiago Ayerbe, visiting donors from Spain, our Wattegama children and their visiting Pamunugama friends enjoyed a beautiful one-hour ride from Wattegama straight up the surrounding hillside to the beautiful and cool tea estates of Panwila.  After a breathtaking drive through rugged terrain and beautiful tea plantations, we arrived at a traditional Sri Lanka tea factory where the kids had a tour and left with their pockets clandestinely stuffed with tea.  Sri Lanka (Ceylon) is famed for its tea, and besides the natural beauty of the countryside and education of the factory, it was wonderful for all of the kids to gain a better understanding of this part of their heritage.

Peradeniya Botanical Gardens

13 August
We are very grateful to Adele Fraser of the UK (Arunakanthi's sponsor) for providing a fantastic and full day for our Wattegama and Pamunugama kids.  The first half of the day we spent at Piradeniya Botanical Gardens, near Kandy and about a 45-minute bus-ride from the Wattegama home.  The Gardens are famous in Sri Lanka, and are outstanding in their own right.  Created by the British in colonial times, the vast park-like setting is nearly surrounded by a loop of the Mahaweli River, and contains hundreds of species of beautiful trees and acres of beautiful flower-beds, laced throughout with quaint footpaths.

Dalada Maligawa

13 August
After Peradeniya Gardens and lunch, we proceeded to the Dalada Maligawa (Tooth Temple) in Kandy, one of the most important historical and national monuments in Sri Lanka.  It is an ancient and beautiful Buddhist temple complex right in the center of Kandy, on the shore of the Kandy lake.  it was a wonderful education for our children to visit this site, and the beauty of the place was equally worthwhile.  Thanks again to Adele Fraser for providing this opportunity!

Wattegama to Pamunugama

15-22 August
After an event-filled week at Wattegama, all of our Wattegama and Pamunugama children were packed onto a bus for the 5-hour journey to Pamunugama.  While their time away was wonderful, our Pamunugama children were happy to return home, while our Wattegama children were VERY happy to begin their holiday away from home, with walks on beaches that they rarely have the opportunity to visit.  Besides the beach waks, the children spent the week just resting and playing.  The exchange, the week away from their homes, and the multiple activities and excursions were a huge success and we saw many of the kids in a joyful new light that we hadn't witnessed before.
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