16. Xin Li – China

Xin Li in Nuwara Eliya

Miss Xin Li, the second AIESEC, Sri Lanka intern from the Mainland of China worked at Horizon Lanka, Mahawilachchiya from July 20, 2009 to August 25, 2009. She was a very caring young lady who won the hearts of the village within the short time she spent in the village. Too bad she had to return to China on her academic needs before the stipulated date.

I never thought someday I would be so lucky to go to Sri-Lanka, and meet so many good friends, Achchi, Wanni, Ramani, Veronika, Waruna, Iresha, and a bunch of good little kids and my students . Horizon is a tiny little building in Sri-Lanka, but it is the most meaningful place to me. I had never been overseas. When I arrived in Mahawilachchiya, I was a little surprised at its differences from Chinese villages. There weren’t any draught animals. 😀

Xin Li’s Report

The first person I met in Horizon Lanka was Ramani, a beautiful little woman. Although I could not speak English very well, we talked a lot about the feelings, my country, my culture, even man. She worried about that I would be afraid of sleeping alone, so she lived with me. “Good morning” and “good night” became the most essential words to me. I liked that. I liked sharing feelings with her, she taught me a lot. She is a wonderful woman and a good teacher. I wish she can find the greatest guy in the world. Achchi is a traditional Sri-Lanka woman, kind-hearted, good cook, loves her children. She is my grandmother, sometimes I want to call her “nainai” (in Chinese it means grandmother). She can’t speak English so we can’t talk. But you know, sometimes we don’t need words to communicate; we can use body languages or eye contacts. I remembered Achchi once said I was her child in the preexistence. She always told me “banana”, “tea”, only single words, but I knew she was afraid I couldn’t eat enough or have a good time there.

I only stayed in Horizon Lanka for forty days. It was a short time, but I had a really good time here. Veronica (other volunteer) always said I was a sky fan. I like Sri-Lanka’s sky, always blue, always with white clouds. you can’t imagine how beautiful the sky is. I want to see it all day long. I like sitting outside, feeling the breeze of the wind, and watching the little squirrel finding food. I have a dream that one day I can buy a house there and grow old.

I taught students oral English and computers. Although I wasn’t a good teacher, all the students listened carefully. I had the feeling that I wanted to teach them everything I know. I liked the three years old kids. I taught them English songs, playing games. Once a little girl told me she loved me, and her father took some overseas coffee, and she invited me to her house to drink coffee. What a cute girl. I think it is the feeling of happiness as a teacher which I never had felt before. I was so proud that all my students loved me.

The Sri-Lanka food is not as good as Chinese. 🙂 Everyone knows china has the best food. But I like the food they cook with coconut. Sometimes, when Achchi is cooking, I like to stand aside and watch it. Wa, I can still feel the smell, it is sooooooo good. I believe there is nobody who doesn’t like Sri-Lanka fruit, they are so delicious, the pineapple, pawpaw, durian, my mouth is watering even now.  I like the way they use hand to eat. At first, Ramani was afraid I can’t get used to it well, but I did it really well. I am really proud of that.

During the time in Sri-Lanka, I travelled a lot, Kandy, Nuwara, Colombo. Ramani took me to many temples, some of the names I can’t remember. Actually, I don’t believe in Buddhism, but I like the temples, and I want to see how piety they are. Buddhism teaches Sri Lanka people to practice kindness, love, passion, and the rest I can’t remember. Three is enough, I think. Haha. Anyway, I see so many beautiful temples, maybe you don’t know, there is a rule in temple, you can’t wear shoes in the temple. But the stone was so hot that I couldn’t walk on it, so I sit on the stone and cry out loudly, everyone looked at me and laughed. I felt so embarrassed. I also went to Nuwara Eliya, the coldest place in Sri Lanka. The tea there is the best, even my mother likes it. It has an international garden. As I mentioned it was so cold there, when I went to the garden in the morning, I put the hotel’s cover on and so funny, everybody looked at me. I don’t care because I wouldn’t be frozen only in this way 🙂

It took me almost three days from Mahawilachchiya to Beijing; it was really a long trip. I only slept five hours in three days. When I reached home, I was so sleepy. Anyway, it is the most exciting and meaningful experience in my life, thank you for all you guys. I will always remember this wonderful journey.

By Xin Li, Beijing, China – UPDATED Saturday, December 12, 2009

With Achchi, Wanni's mother
With Achchi, Wanni’s mother
With my host family in Mahawilachchiya
With my host family in Mahawilachchiya
In a park in the Hill Country
In a park in the Hill Country
With Horizon Lanka students
With Horizon Lanka students
With Horizon Lanka students
With Horizon Lanka students
In a Sri Lankan sari with a host family
In a Sri Lankan sari with a host family
In a Sri Lankan sari with a host family
In a Sri Lankan sari with a host family

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