Mr. Nicolas Beauquin 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.
Horizon Lanka Review
The organization of our trip with Horizon Lanka was well planned and even if sometimes there were some misunderstanding Horizon Lanka helped us and made us know where we were supposed to go even after a mistake. Trips were made easy for us, vans were booked and transported us at the right place without efforts. Administrators of the mission have made the efforts to come to see us even if the place was a bit far from their offices. They were warm and smiling. Also, Mr. Wajira de Silva, the Coordinator of Horizon Academy – Werapitiya organized a wonderful trip to the north of Sri Lanka for us minding our desires and our budget.
Public School Review
Teaching at Dunhinna Public School was a good experiment, teachers were very helpful and wanted to make us real teachers. But our goal had been restricted to only make students speak in English by games or activities. Only a few grammar lessons were taught. School students were a bit shy at first but when they had seen us for the third time, they really wanted to play and speak, they wanted to ask us questions on our life, they wanted our names and signatures in their books. They were absolutely lovely and they all wanted to learn. Teachers were also a solid bridge for us, making easier the learning by translating the words that students couldn’t understand.
Host Family Review
The family who has been taking care of us was absolutely dedicated to us. They gave us their own beds, rooms and their house for a month. Every meal was made by them, and they insisted to make two tea times in every day. They took us everywhere very nice to us. However, none of them spoke English, which made communication extremely hard. Leading to calls with English teachers, this was a mess but a funny one. Each day our main host understood us a bit more, but even meals were difficult to plan. With this language gap where also a culture gap, we were always eating away from them and were not allowed to help in the house for the first days. They have been the kindest host family we could have hoped for because, with all the things we could not have said to each other, they have always been smiling, unstressed and very polite. We were lacking nothing, they have bought us things that normally they don’t use, for example, toilet paper. Meals were the typical meal, rice with pork or chicken. The whole family wanted to make us feel the best in Sri Lanka and we all are very grateful for their kindness.
The village where we had been was a bit in the mountains, making it a real local village. There were not a lot of people that speak English inside the village but everyone was pleased to meet us and to talk with us. The bus was a great mean of transport during our mission and the locals were always exciting to see us. I went to the hairdresser too; it was as much welcoming as the rest of the village. Each person knows everyone else in the village and thus every person who knew us invited us to eat at their places. Everyone wanted to be as much friendly as possible. Teachers from the school have been valuable friends for some weekend afternoon pool leisure. We will miss lots of people we have met.
Sri Lanka Review
Fist, Sri Lanka has been since the beginning of our mission a beautiful country, landscapes with the sun, mountains, and jungles are some of the best ones you can see on Earth. It was wonderful just to go somewhere cause the view was always incredible. I was a bit concerned by the fact that locals are rarely speaking English, but I understood that we could make us understandable by the gesture. I don’t remember if we have met a single non-smiling or unfriendly person on our whole trip. Everyone is nice to you; everyone takes some of their time to help you. Sri Lanka is also well developed, electricity and internet conations were always available. The religions are also very unique, and we were pleased to visit some temples. There are not the same as in Europe, they are way more colorful. Sculptures are outside and enormous. Beaches are really beautiful and warm, we also loved to get a bath every day in springs and natural pools.
Nicolas Beauquin – France