Starting off our first adventurous week in Sri Lanka was amazing! We are the first LEAPNOW group to step foot into Sri Lanka and we are making sure that we’re going to leave our mark! We started off our week with a tour of a beautiful dutch fort in the heart of Galle. We all were mesmerized by the European architecture and how ancient yet modern it was. We all found a small yet elegant gelato shop, called Illeys. To cool us down from the sun’s malevolent rays, we all bought gelato and relaxed in this beautiful shop. We kept walking throughout the dutch fort and stopped at the edge. We were all drawn to the relaxing sounds of the ocean waves hitting the rocks, and we sat there for a few minutes to take in the surrounding beauty. We came back home to our beautiful home stays where our families cooked an amazing Sri Lankan dish called Hoppers and vegetable Rotty. Us being extremely hungry and eager to try out our first Sri Lankan local dish. IT WAS INCREDIBLE!
As the week progressed, we went to a beautiful wild life park called Yala that was north of Galle. We were in Jeeps that had no roof, so we were able to take in all of the beauty of the environment and animals of this forest. It truly was an exciting experience seeing all of the animals co-existing in the same habitat and how incredibly unique each animal is!
We then visited a turtle hatchery to see these exquisite turtles and their eggs. It was an astounding experience. Turtles are so graceful in the way they move and communicate. It was touching to see how the hatchery rescued turtles in danger and treated them so they might once again be able to live there lives in the oceans.
To cap off this amazing week of events, we all went to see a beautiful Buddhist monastery that was on the ocean. To get there, you have to walk along a bridge that is suspended over the ocean. The views were breathtaking! After stepping foot in this mysterious yet graceful monastery, we went into a room where people would pray to lord Buddha and meditate. We partook in this practice and got a white string tied around our right our arm while the monks were blessing us. We then all sat down and meditated for 10 minutes and it felt incredible to be right next to the ocean while doing so, it was a powerful moment for all of us and we were grateful to be there. We ended this eventful week with a family dinner of all of us eating in the dutch fort and enjoying each others company. Next week our volunteer work starts. We’re excitedto help the kids of the Orphanage and Monastery!