Mr. Baptiste Greaud from France volunteered at Horizon Lanka Foundation from June to July in 2019. He volunteered at Horizon Academy – Werapitiya in Kandy, Sri Lanka Read his tour report below.
Volunteering at Horizon Lanka
I didn’t work at Horizon Lanka so I will talk about the organization of our trip by the association. I think we should have been put in contact with the school, especially the teachers to better organize the lessons because we arrived at the school without any idea of what they wanted us to do. Maybe, we should have been in touch with the host too to decide how much money they need because we found out that they needed more than expected. The trip from the airport to our final destination was also a mess. (Horizon Lanka’s explanation: Thanks a lot for pointing out these shortcomings from our end. We will minimize them for future volunteers. We apologize for the shortcomings.)
Volunteering at a Public School
I was a volunteer at Dunhinna’s Public School. I taught English to 6-12 grades and organized sports activities for students. With my friends, we tried to improve the oral communication and comprehension of the students using mainly games so that the students were more eager to engage in English. I really appreciate that it worked with most of the students. They were really friendly and happy to come to our lessons. It was the first time they had the opportunity to speak to foreigners so they were curious and excited. The staff was also really helpful and comprehensive. They did their best to give us time with children. However, I think the teachers could have given us a schedule so we could have had better preparation for each class.
Life with My Host
Our host did the best he could to give us the best experience. We had a big comfortable house for us alone because the family was living in another small house. We felt kinda guilty to «steal» their house to be honest. They gave us delicious local meals. They took us to some beautiful places. Nonetheless, it was difficult to understand each other because they didn’t speak English and we weren’t prepared for that.
Life in The Village
People were really welcoming; we were invited to take some afternoon tea by a lot of people. It was a beautiful and peaceful village. It’s a good place for us concerning the temperature because it was not too hot. It was a new experience to shower in rivers and wash our clothes by hand.
Life in Sri Lanka
We visited Kandy, Nilaveli, Trincomalee, Theldeniya and a lot of small villages. We were first surprised by the driving experience. It was unexpected to see car and bus overtake like they do. We had to adapt to the lifestyle of Sri Lankans which means no toilet paper, no washing machine, eating with hands, etc. … It was a good experience. For us, the cost of living was really cheap but it looks like it’s hard for Sri Lankan people.