Saturday, 21 June 2014

Come on Costa Rica!

Ayubowan everyone!
After two weeks of (very hot) hunting, two tired children in tow, endless tuk tuk rides, lizards, fruit bats, dodgy tums, more mozzy bites than Mr.Mozzy the mozzy man from Mozzy town and from abandoned shacks to town flats and so, SO many houses we have finally found somewhere to call home:

La Cabana Lanka.
148/6 Mapanawatura Rd,
Kandy,
Sri Lanka.

It is just 5 minutes from Kyans new school and 10 minutes from the office. Its a very honest little place and we hope it reflects the spirit of The Project (but most importantly it's dirt cheap!)

We have been really fortunate to meet and be introduced to so many beautiful people since we have been here. We are constantly amazed by the genuine kindness, warmth and happiness expressed to us by everyone here. The people of Sri Lanka are on another level to anyone we have met in the world before.

Kyan starts school on Monday and Asia-Lilly is also excited to be starting home school (mostly because she gets a pink t-shirt to wear as her uniform). Kyan is full of the trepidation that comes with such a big step into a scary new world but is looking forward to it in equal measure. He gets to wear shorts, has swimming on Mondays and has joined chess club so he can woop daddy....
It really does seem like a good school though and we are sure he will be happy there but it will still break our hearts to see our little baby go off on his own on Monday.

They are both treated like royalty wherever they go in Sri Lanka. They cannot walk 5 minutes (literally) anywhere without being smiled at, having their hands held, their hair stroked or having their pictures taken. It's like chaperoning Posh n Becks. It's quite something for them to get used to but will be so good for them to grow around such effection. Asia-Lilly is still not quite sure why everyone is so happy though and likes to re-address the balance with a 'back off' glare that she has mastered perfectly over her 3 years on the planet.

Racheal and i start work proper on Tuesday. We have visited the centres in Kandy run by our hosts Child Action Lanka (CAL) and met most of the staff & some of the young people. We have arrived at a great time for CAL. They have just purchased a new building. Where they previously had 5 centres spread out all over Kandy they now have been able to move all age groups under one roof. So we have everyone from the beautiful baba's on the ground floor nursery right up to our teenage young people on the top floor. It is an exciting stage of development for CAL and a real opportunity to get involved in the transformation and maximise what we can do while we are out here; all because of your support. 

In our first meeting with Debbie (who founded CAL only 7 years ago) we exchanged ideas and made firm plans for the coming months. The month of August is a busy time for CAL. The schools are closed which means all the children who's parents work the streets have no safe place to spend the day and are forced by necessity back on to the streets to beg from the increasing numbers of tourists. CAL have been successful in getting around 90% of these children into our centres where they can receive a shower, clean clothes, food, education and play. Racheal has been initially charged with developing daily activities to attract the children from the street and into our centres through this month.  I have been asked to build, paint and develop new spaces within the centre where the young people can learn, play, be counselled or just chill out and have a place to feel safe for a few hours and forget about the outside world. We have 21 students coming over from the UK in July; Racheal has been asked to develop a schedule of voluntary work for them while they are here and i have been asked to involve them in some art workshop and task them with brightening up the rooms of the centre. I am also excited to have been asked to help in the nursery with our homeless babies and toddlers; so i have lots of snotty noses and cuddles in the weeks ahead!

We purchased a mobile router yesterday to enable us to speak to you all from high up in the mountains but i am not confident of it's capabilities yet and am nervous i could lose this blog at any minute (also i have just seen a Mongoose eyeing up my juicy white legs from the bushes) so i will finish up for now and try and send this to you.

All your support and donations can make such an impact here and Racheal and i will make sure that is does. Your help is doing amazing and sustainable things for children who have nobody but you to help them. Thank you.

*It certainly puts the importance of  Englands non efforts in the World Cup into perspective. Come on Costa Rica!

Love from us and ours to you and yours.

Carl, Rach, KJ & A-L xxxx

 

 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

CEYLON T.E.A!

ආයුඛෝවන් (āyubūvan)  TEApeepers!

After a loooooong journey (in more ways than one!) we are relieved to announce The T.E.A Project has arrived in Sri Lanka.(www.theteaproject.org.uk)

We are making our way (slowly) to her new home in Kandy by any means possible (hopefully fitted with A/C as it's hotter than a Greggs pasty filled with lava!)

We will send word once we have arrived.

Big luv 2 u all

සාමය saamaya

Carl, Rach, Kyan & Asia-Lilly xxxx