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Dinner and a threefold gathering

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Yesterday I finished the first of my two day preschool workshop for about 33 preschool teachers. While I still had energy I came to the Vibe to write my last email then  headed home to finish the day relaxing.  I had a shower and curled up to read my book when I received a phone call that I’d be picked up for dinner in 10 minutes. Rose had a board meeting and they decided to go out for dinner and drinks plus say bye to Anthony (CEO) because he’s off to Canada to spend a month with his family.  We went to a hotel, restaurant only a couple of blocks from our house.  The dinner began much like a celebration at home with drinks and appetizers.  I enjoyed watching the friendship, teasing and bantering going on between the board members.  Rajeeshan would translate to Amanda and I frequently or they’d speak english.  Most of the guys have varying degrees of speaking english.  Anthony said this was the first time in the six years the board got together in this kind of light to just enjoy each other over dinner and drinks.

Today I had the second day of my inservice.  I finished going over the main ideas that I’d wanted to stress.  We did some make and take things that the teachers can use at their schools. They do not have access to the kinds of materials we as Canadians have so it was very evident that anything I gave them was cherished.  I had periodic draws for gifts and things I’d brought with me from Canada  and you could see the hope on their faces that maybe their name would be drawn next.  I did have Canadian pencils that I was able to give each teacher,  thanks to Lawrence, so even if their name was not drawn each teacher received something.  They wanted more practise with fingerplays, action songs and games so we spent lots of enjoyable time going over them.  If the kids have as much fun as we did acting out, singing and playing then for sure the last two days were successful!

At three o’clock we all went over to the office grounds. All the teachers plus Rose Charities staff were present.  It was a threefold gathering.  One was to send Anthony off with good wishes and a safe journey home and the other two were to thank Amanda and I for coming to Sri Lanka.  So many of the teachers and staff came up to the front and presented me with gifts and homemade cards.  Best of all was that they spoke from their hearts of how grateful they were to have met me and to have had the opportunity to learn english from me.  The added bonus was that it was all said in English!  I know how difficult it was for them to stand up in front of everyone let alone to speak in english so I was so very proud of them.  Reading what they had written and listening to them struggle with the right words as they thanked me brought tears to my eyes.  I looked over at Anthony and saw he was also tearing up and that lead to a chain of events of many staff, teachers plus me having an emotional time!  When Anthony spoke he remembered to thank God for our good friend Lawrence  for being the person he is in helping Rose Charities and for sending Amanda and I there to be with them.  I handed out certificates to all the participants of my workshop then at the end of the program we all gathered around to do a photo shoot.  I will get those photos sent via facebook sometime this week.  I cannot believe I have been here for a month.  If my students learn as much over the next 3 weeks as they have in the first month I feel I will have accomplished lots.  I have promised to return for another two months next year (this time winter months not when Sri Lanka is having their hottest 2 months)  so any takers?  I would love to have someone come with me to share this experience!

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