Week 2 (2): I wish I could stay

So after the first night, moving into the bigger volunteer house was awesome. It was great to get to know so many amazing, friendly, kind and hilarious people that completely made my time in Sri Lanka.

On Monday me and the girls from my room Imogen, Lucy, Molly and Anna decided that we all wanted to get a bit tipsy. It was born out of a kind of man hating, we deserve a drink chat, once one person suggested it we were all on the same page and off to the wine shop we went. To buy any sort of alcohol in Sri Lanka you go to these wine shops which are basically like a bar but you just order and take away your drink. Like how people used to shop in the olden days.

We had an amazing night. I’m really so glad I met those girls and everyone else because we just clicked and were exactly what each other needed at the time! Dancing on the rooftop and stumbling into bed all to feel like death the next morning was so worth it!

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The turtles continued to be so much fun and rewarding as I got to give a few more tours this week. It has also been good exercise for me to be lifting turtles into their feeding tanks everyday! The girls have been awesome too and I will miss my little turtle team so much.

There is a statue less than 100m from the hatchery to commemorate the lives lost in the area when the 2004 tsunami hit. The statue was donated by the Japanese and the flagstone laid down a year on from the disaster. This area is close to the site were 1700 people lost their lives on a train that was destroyed by the second wave after people had taken refuge on board after the first. It’s beautiful and peaceful. Even 12 years on the scars on the landscape and people are still visible. It’s a testament to the Sri Lankan people’s unwavering kindness and strength that they continue to work with nature and rebuild their lives the way they have.

On Wednesday we had a beach party for Esme’s birthday. After unsuccessfully trying to get pizzas ordered to the beach me and the other girls from my room went for a fancy-ish dinner at restaurant in town. It was so strange when we walked in because we were in beach party clothes which aren’t overly acceptable around the locals! We got taken to the gold room and after a few minutes of traditional music they put on Eminem. It was kind of like they googled white music and that was the first artist that came up. The food was nice but didn’t sit too well with us all for the rest of the night, if you catch my drift. I also had a moment with the waiter when he dropped his pen and we both reached for it haha!

We all had such a good night, it all ended rather dramatically though. Lucy tripped backwards and fell in to the remains of the fire. After getting her back to the house and seeing the damage Molly and Lucy (nurses in training) said she needed an ambulance. Lucy is recovering at home now and I wish her all the best – definitely on my list of people to see when I finally venture into Scotland!

Thursday was a recovery day for everyone. The rest of the turtle team went to see Lucy in the hospital so I manned the fort with the turtles. They also let Dianne from another program come and join for the day which made it a really good morning!

After checking everything was okay with Lucy me and some of the girls headed to the tsunami photo museum. After seeing the statue earlier in the week I really wanted to look further into the impact on the local area.

The museum is located in a former house that was destroyed by the waves. The woman who runs the musuem used to live in that house. Talking to her about what happened was extremely emotional, you could see the pain in her eyes. The way she spoke of the day was haunting and the photos and stories contained in the rooms were hard to view. It’s so important to see them though and to show your support to the people.

Thursday night was meant to be the night I got to release baby turtles back into the sea. However, the owner didn’t show up so one of the co-ordinaries let us hug some puppies. All though the word RABIES was flashing in my head I couldn’t resist the cuteness and i totally fell in love!

Friday was my last day in Sri Lanka I said goodbye to my turtle family and had a celebratory King coconut!

The team have been a pleasure to work with and I would recommend PMGY in Sri Lanka to anyone. After chilling with the girls for the rest of the day we all got ready for a birthday party for the CEO of PMGY. On the way me and team turtle got to release the little babies back into the sea! It was amazing, I felt really proud that we had given them that extra fighting chance of making it in the big old blue!

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The party was a wonderful end to a brilliant two weeks. We had delicious food, cocktails and then danced like idiots with the local Sri Lankan’s until the early hours. When we got home I had to say goodbye to everyone as I was leaving at 5 am on Saturday morning. I wasn’t expecting it but so many tears were shed! I have met the most incredible group of people that I know I will stay in contact with, genuinely feel so lucky to have gone at the time I did and couldn’t of wished for more.

I would like to say thank you to everyone I met in Sri Lanka for making it by far the best two weeks of my life, love you all!

Right this is ridiculously long, I will stop waffling!

Next stops Singapore and Cambodia…

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