Kristýna Blažková from the Czech Republic volunteered at Horizon Lanka during the months of March and April, 2016. She was a very good dancer, singer and a volleyball player. She was also featured in ITN TV in Sri Lanka. Read her story below.
“My decision to go to Sri Lanka came out of the clear blue sky. One late autumn afternoon, when I was sitting at work, I decided I want to go help somewhere in the world to help people as a volunteer. My dream continent was Asia, I opened map and I pinned my finger randomly at Sri Lanka. After that it was all pretty fast that I even didn’t think it will.
Article from the Czech volunteer Klara Gebhartova who visited Horizon Lanka before was first which grab my attention. Throughout planning I invited my longtime friend Honza who was thinking about volunteering in Asia for some time.
And that was it. We took off at the end of February and went straight for a new adventure. Having no idea what is waiting for us there.
Even the first breath of Sri Lanka had an amazing impact on us and we knew that we are going to like it very much. Different smells, glowing smiles and hot night (full of mosquitos) welcomed us right after our landing. We were literally stunned, as we were in completely different world. Long and tiring journey by bus was the only thing which was separated us from village called Mahawilachchiya which was our destination.
As soon as we came there we were warmly welcomed by our future students from Horizon Lanka and Nanda who is the founder of this amazing non-profit organization. We get to know by each other by playing simple games and we were hosted by one of the Horizon Lanka students’ family.
In this very family, our 2nd own family as we call them now, we became the happiest people in Sri Lanka. It was the best way how to get into their hearts and also into every day of Sri Lankans. We had the chance to get familiar with their traditional food which was made for us with the family love, their customs, everyday troubles and happy moments. We became ones of them. I’ll never forget the moments we were going to have baths in the canals which were providing water for the rice fields, where we had so much fun every day. The moments when their eyes were shining with happiness when they saw me dressed in their traditional bath robe called “cheeththa”. When we were washing our hair by the sunset and we were telling various stories.
With great love I remember the mornings when we were sitting under the tall palms in complete silence in front our house just enjoying black tea with milk and we couldn’t wait till the next day.
Our everyday program was teaching English in my case in local school. And in the afternoon again extra classes of English, ICT and in my case dance classes. Sometimes we just went to play cricket, American football or volleyball. When it was too hot outside we didn’t hesitate and took our bikes and went straight to have a bath.
The time I spent at local school and also at Horizon Lanka was very beneficial for me. I enjoyed every single moment till my last. While I am studying pedagogical university which I hope I’ll finish next year this was also a valuable lesson about I decided to write a diploma thesis and to compare educational systems in our country and in Sri Lanka.
This is one of my diary records:
Today is my last day of school. No no! I’m not going there like a pupil. Don’t misunderstand! But like a teacher. It will be already 2 months which the most beautiful faces and smiles have been welcoming me around 8.00 am every morning. I was writing about it many times you know that. I’ll go to our staff room and during that I will chat with everybody on my way. I’m gonna be boiling in my pink sari cause outside is around 35° Celsius again. But I know teachers and students will appreciate it and shout on me!
“Lasenaj!” (It means beautiful in Sinhala.)
I’m looking forward to our dancing room too. We’ll have so much fun there. On lunch break I will drink a hot cup of tea and eat something really spicy and I’m gonna be sweating and crying all the time. But it belongs to that. (You have to handle it.)
“Kristyna teacher!” Like always, grade 8 is shouting. There are so many students in class.
“Kristyna teacher, come! Selfie, game! Hi. Bye. Ene!”
Then, they will offer me really sour fruit. I’ll waste it inconspicuously. I hope that they won’t see that.
“Kristyna teacher! Dance please!”
Okey! Herewe go!! J
You know I’ll miss them. Also the baby. She is crying after she saw me. It’ s pathetic. I’m done.
I’m crying. “Bye!”
I think this note speaks for itself, that uncountable moments starting with smiles full of love from the villagers up until the innocent and grateful looks from our little students. Until today I remember with tears in my eyes. I’d like to see them again.
This story of my life had a major impact on me and I am convinced that this was not last time I visited Sri Lanka.
By this I would like to thank to the people who were part of this great journey. On the first place to Honza who lived this amazing journey with me and was all the time by my side, amazing Nanda who made this possible and who let us live through something amazing, our loving family, teachers and of course to amazing kids.
I still have thousands and thousands of memories that I could write a book about the all things we experienced in Sri Lanka.”