Sunday, October 31, 2010

The country of happymaking

Back from Sri Lanka, still under the Island effect and already missing everything about it and everyone. Is freezing cold back home and I can't remember where I put my hats :-) Finally having access to super speed internet so could upload my video.

About the things I miss already, btw that reminds me of a conversation Romesh and I had last week:
  • my papaya juice ( had to be #1)
  • my IBM Corporate Service Corps team, especially my roomie Brigitte who is still enjoying her vacation there (have some pineapple for me B!). And Ciota, and Hua Ni, and all :-)
  • my new machangs Romesh and Anurudda, so nice to find great friends when you least expect it. Love you guys!
  • the morning swim
  • the sun & the hot evenings
  • the strong waves
  • my first sunsets @Galle Face hotel and BU BA beach
  • Unawatuna beach
  • hanging out in Cololmbo's nice cafes, restaurants and why not clubs> although there is still place for improvement when it comes to clubbing :-)
  • fresh pineapple
  • me in the saree (never thought I will miss that :D)
  • the exotic plants and orchids
  • the wildlife
  • Sigirya and all about that weekend
  • the colorful buddhist and hindu shrines
  • the smiles on Sri Lankans' faces
  • road trips to Kandy and Lunugamwehera
  • riding the tuk tuk
  • Cinnamon ice cream (had to be something with Cinnamon)
  • Wednesday table quiz at Barefoot
  • my team at WorldVision
  • Karaoke> honestly, Sri Lankans can really sing. Very impressed!
This could go on forever :-) Anyway, Sri Lanka will be missed and I am sure I will go back there. At least for some selfish happymaking! Someday, somehow.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy Saree

Finally Anthi got a real saree :-) You may remember my beautiful outfit created by Maria Izabel (@indvstrial) for our Second Life virtual events. Bought it in Kandy, Sri Lanka, some weekends ago and finally got to wear it & have a happymaking photo session. Yey!

Real vs Virtual below :D

Monday, October 18, 2010

If you like Happy Banana go to Unawatuna

Back from Unawatuna, a beautiful, exotic and not very populated beach in Sri Lanka. And now officially a #happymaking location! Enjoyed is so much that I had to recommend it on the blog :-) And of course lots of first times again:
  • first bath in the ocean,
  • first yoga class (pretty good & very hot work out),
  • first papaya milkshake (imagine I didn't have that one yet :-)),
  • first gems shopping spree (and I promise it will be the last one :-) ),
  • first Bond picture on the beach
  • first time washing my hair on the beach (that's for our Jenny who even documented the event with pics) and some more.
It was a very nice weekend with my team, got to know each other better, learn about our cultures and experience the local one. Pretty cool and exciting. But most of it relaaaaaaxing!

Some more happymaking related remarks, since everything in Sri Lanka reflects happiness:
  • the cheese is happy, having HAPPY COW almost every morning now
  • in Unawatuna we spent the day on the HAPPY BANANA beach, ate at the Happy Banana restaurant
  • even found a name meaning "the one who smiles" = Hashani, which is for a girl :-)

Monday, October 4, 2010

In the footprints of Adam: fighting poverty

First post from Sri Lanka. The happymaker made it safe and sound :-) So:
AYUBOWAN! (=wishing you a long life as the people here greet us)

Bet you didn't know that one of the country’s points of interest is Adam’s Peak, a mountain with a large indentation in the shape of a human footprint and is a place of pilgrimage for various religions. Buddhist tradition claims the footprint to be a remnant of Buddha. Others that Adam and Eve fled to Adam’s Peak after their expulsion from the Garden of Eden, and that Adam left the footprint when he stood on one foot for 1,000 years as penance for his sin. Either way many things happen in this magical place and most of them happen with the help of magical people.

During my assignment here I got the chance to meet such magical people and starting tomorrow I'll be working with them, for a month. I'll get to see how World Vision supports over 1400
villages , 372600 families in about 20 Sri Lankan divisions. I'll get to learn about fund raising, about fighting bureaucracy, helping women who plan to start a business in their own villages, offer medical assistance to those in need, recovering from natural disasters, supporting the education of kids and teenagers who deserve such a better life after years of war.And more....

It is a unique experience to see and hear about so many ways of doing good in just a couple of days. And must admit I had no idea our client is doing so many things already, with such great results, at a such large scale and so well planned. I think in the end it's gonna be me who will be the one who's gonna benefit the most of this. Hope only that I'll manage to absorb as much as I can and help smaller NGOs in the future with ideas& tips around such projects.

Just to give you an example of some of their work here...hopefully we'll get to visit some of the locations and provide you with self made videos :-) Actually I can't wait for that to happen.

And as usual my friends, if you want to help, here is another opportunity for you. Verified& recommended, another place where our help is needed. Will post more updates soon!

Thank You=ISTUTI
(in sinhalese)