62. Prince Leonard – India

Prince Leonard, India

Prince Leonard, India

I am very excited to be here as the 63rd volunteer at Horizon Lanka. Volunteering in Sri Lanka has always been a goal of mine since it’s my neighbor country and I have been longing for many years to travel to Sri Lanka. Even though I have traveled to many countries for work or sightseeing purposes, this is my first trip to Sri Lanka. Volunteering in Sri Lanka fills me with a sense of purpose and I will do everything I can for the Sri Lankan people.

Volunteering in Sri Lanka so far has been a wonderful experience and I am hoping to continue my volunteer work here in Horizon Lanka beyond my original plan of one month for a longer term. It’s an honor to meet Nanda Wanninayaka, the founder and CEO of Horizon Lanka. He is a friendly and easy going person that gives all volunteers many opportunities to teach English to the students, ages ranging from 7-16 years of age. The students are more eager to learn English and computers from the volunteers who come from around the world to teach them. It is a wonderful opportunity for the students to meet different nationalities and practice communicating in English.

I teach English and Tamil in Gamini Vidyalaya public school mornings from Monday to Friday. In the afternoon I teach English to the students in Horizon. On Saturday and half of Sunday I also teach. I have a great time with the Gamini School students because they are very eager to learn English and Tamil from me. I see that the Gamini School students show great respect to the teacher by kneeling down at the feet of the teachers, worshipping the teachers like they worship god or the Buddha. This is respect to the teachers is shown by students all over Sri Lanka. (In Sri Lanka, teachers are treated just next to gods.) This was a new experience for me and to see their humbleness and respect to the teachers made me feel good.

It’s nice for me to spend time with lots of volunteers from all over the world and share valuable experiences with them here. It was a pleasure to meet and spend time with Wasantha, a consultant for Horizon Lanka. When I first arrived, I stayed with Nanda for a while until I got a homestay with a host family.  I stayed with them for many days and then moved back into Nanda’s house. I hope to get another host family soon.

In my opinion this is a worthwhile experience and anyone who is longing to teach English to students in any part of Asia is most welcome in Sri Lanka. Volunteering here is an unforgettable experience that greatly benefits the students’ knowledge of English as well their intercultural awareness. While I am here in Horizon Lanka, have visited some of the fascinating places nearby with the other volunteers and had great fun. I met a lot of great people like Nagy from Egypt, Costi from Italy, Cristina from Spain, Lea from Switzerland and Irina from Russia. We hope to meet more volunteers in the coming days, too. Volunteering in Sri Lanka feels really good and the energy of the students gives me energy to continue to teach English. I don’t ever get tired of teaching them and at the end of the day I go to sleep thinking about the activities and lessons I want to impart tomorrow. These are just some of the reasons I have chosen to travel to Sri Lanka as my volunteer destination and I hope you too choose Sri Lanka as your volunteering destination.

So, this was my awesome and wonderful experience by volunteering in Sri Lanka. I hope you too can enjoy this privilege one day.

Prince Leonard, India

With Horizon Lanka students
With Horizon Lanka students
With Horizon Lanka students
With Horizon Lanka students
With Horizon Lanka students at Horizon Lanka
With Horizon Lanka students at Horizon Lanka
With Horizon Lanka students at Horizon Lanka
With Horizon Lanka students at Horizon Lanka
With Horizon Lanka students at Horizon Lanka
With Horizon Lanka students at Horizon Lanka
With Horizon Lanka students at Horizon Lanka
With Nanda Wanninayaka at Horizon Lanka
With the students of Gamini Public School
With the students of Gamini Public School
With the students of Gamini Public School
With the students of Gamini Public School
With the students of Gamini Public School
With the students of Gamini Public School
With the students of Gamini Public School
With the students of Gamini Public School
With the students of Gamini Public School
With the students of Gamini Public School
With the students of Gamini Public School
With the students of Gamini Public School
With the students of Gamini Public School
With the students of Gamini Public School
With the students of Gamini Public School
With the students of Gamini Public School
With the students of Gamini Public School
With the students of Gamini Public School
With Cristina
With Cristina
With Cristina and Rajitha in Tantirimale
With Cristina and Rajitha in Tantirimale
With Cristina and Rajitha in Tantirimale
With Cristina and Rajitha in Tantirimale
With Lea and Dhananjaya
With Lea and Dhananjaya
With Horizon Lanka staff
With Horizon Lanka staff
With Lea and Dhananjaya
With Lea and Dhananjaya
With my host's son, Surendra
With my host’s son, Surendra
With my host's family
With my host’s family
With my host's family and Horizon Lanka staff
With my host’s family and Horizon Lanka staff

The Road to Tantirimale from Mahawilachchiya – Prince Leonard, India

Tantirimale

Tantirimale

I experienced riding a motorcycle in Sri Lanka for the first time yesterday. Even though I have ridden all kinds of two wheelers and four wheelers in India for two decades, the ride from Mahawilachchiya to Tantirimale Temple was truly special. I rode solo as I followed Rajitha with Cristina behind him. When we started our travel, we had to endure a difficult and rough mud road until we reached the good service road that brought us to comfortably to Tantimale. On the way, we stopped and Rajitha went to a pond to collect some flowers.

As I rode, I could see a lot of kids dressed in white going towards Tantirimale Temple to attend the Dhamma School on Sunday. After reaching Tantirimale we entered the temple and offered the flowers Rajitha had gathered earlier. We then went around a pond by the temple and began to climb a rock. As we were climbing we saw a beautiful peacock fly by that both surprised and amazed us.

High up the rock, we spent time taking photographs and chatting before descending the mountain to see the Sanghamitta Cave near the Tantirimale Temple. We saw the ancient paintings in another cave and learned about its history. From there, we hiked around the temple’s property. It was a really wonderful experience and an unforgettable memory for me. As we were leaving, we could see many Buddhist students in their white dress with their teachers. Students regularly come on chartered trips arranged by local schools. We were able to see some of the Buddhist monks with pilgrims walking around the temple. We saw the famous reclining Buddha statue along with other magnificent statues here.

After the temple, we took our bikes and started our ride back towards Mahawilachchiya on route to the Mahawilachchiya reservoir where we spent time taking pictures and learning about the importance of the reservoir. We then ate our lunch prepared by Horizon student Tharani’s mother. It consisted of coconut rice (local Sri Lankan food) and some bananas. Although fairly simple, it was quite tasty and filling. Sharing our lunch was a memorable moment between an Indian guy Prince Leonard, Sri Lankan guy Rajitha and a Spanish girl Cristiana.

After spending time at the Mahawilachchiya reservoir, we decided to head home to our destination Nanda’s house, who is the founder and CEO of Horizon Lanka.

I am so happy to volunteer here at Horizon Lanka teaching English to the students. I already experienced teaching English in Gamini School, one of the public schools in Mahawilachchiya. The students enjoyed my teaching and were fascinated to learn from me.  Nanda has been so accommodating to my ideas for classes and will allow me to teach Tamil classes in the near future. It’s indeed a pleasure to be here at Horizon Lanka in Mahawilachchiya, Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. My trip to Tantirimale was enjoyable and my experience so far at Horizon Lanka has been incredible.

If you would like to have this one of a kind experience at Horizon Lanka, you are most welcome to volunteer here and take part in a good cause.  Also, please share this story with friends all over the world in your social networks.

Report by Prince Leonard from Chennai, India.

Reclining Buddha statue in Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Reclining Buddha statue in Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Reclining Buddha statue in Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Reclining Buddha statue in Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Reclining Buddha statue in Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Reclining Buddha statue in Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Buddha statue in the shrine in Tantirimale temple, Mahawilachchiya
Buddha statue in the shrine in Tantirimale temple, Mahawilachchiya
Buddha statue in the shrine in Tantirimale temple, Mahawilachchiya
Buddha statue in the shrine in Tantirimale temple, Mahawilachchiya
Natural pond at Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Natural pond at Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Natural pond at Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Natural pond at Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Natural pond at Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Natural pond at Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Natural pond at Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Natural pond at Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Samadhi statue at Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Samadhi statue at Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Samadhi statue at Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Samadhi statue at Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Samadhi statue at Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Samadhi statue at Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Samadhi statue at Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Samadhi statue at Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
The bell in Tantirimale temple
The bell in Tantirimale temple
Stupa at Tantirimale
Stupa at Tantirimale
Stupa at Tantirimale
Stupa at Tantirimale
Pilgrims at Tantirimale temple, Mahawilachchiya
Pilgrims at Tantirimale temple, Mahawilachchiya
Pilgrims at Tantirimale temple, Mahawilachchiya
Pilgrims at Tantirimale temple, Mahawilachchiya
Pilgrims at Tantirimale temple, Mahawilachchiya
Pilgrims at Tantirimale temple, Mahawilachchiya
Pilgrims at Tantirimale temple, Mahawilachchiya
Pilgrims at Tantirimale temple, Mahawilachchiya
Pilgrims at Tantirimale temple, Mahawilachchiya
Pilgrims at Tantirimale temple, Mahawilachchiya
Pilgrims at Tantirimale temple, Mahawilachchiya
Pilgrims at Tantirimale temple, Mahawilachchiya
Pilgrims at Tantirimale temple, Mahawilachchiya
Pilgrims at Tantirimale temple, Mahawilachchiya
Dhamma School children in Tantirimale
Dhamma School children in Tantirimale
Dhamma School children in Tantirimale
Dhamma School children in Tantirimale
Dhamma School children in Tantirimale
Dhamma School children in Tantirimale
Dhamma School children in Tantirimale
Dhamma School children in Tantirimale
Dhamma School children in Tantirimale
Dhamma School children in Tantirimale
Dhamma School children in Tantirimale
Dhamma School children in Tantirimale
Prince and Cristina at Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Prince and Cristina at Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Prince and Cristina at Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Prince and Cristina at Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Prince, Rajitha and Cristina at Tantirimale, Mahawilcahchiya
Prince, Rajitha and Cristina at Tantirimale, Mahawilcahchiya
Prince, Rajitha and Cristina at Tantirimale, Mahawilcahchiya
Prince, Rajitha and Cristina at Tantirimale, Mahawilcahchiya
Prince, Rajitha and Cristina at Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Prince, Rajitha and Cristina at Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Prince, Rajitha and Cristina at Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Prince, Rajitha and Cristina at Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
A lake in Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
A lake in Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
A lake in Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
A lake in Tantirimale, Mahawilachchiya
Panorama view of Tantirimale rocks, Mahawilachchiya
Panorama view of Tantirimale rocks, Mahawilachchiya
Panorama view of Tantirimale rocks, Mahawilachchiya
Panorama view of Tantirimale rocks, Mahawilachchiya
Mahawilachchiya reservoir in Mahawilachchiya
Mahawilachchiya reservoir in Mahawilachchiya
Mahawilachchiya reservoir in Mahawilachchiya
Mahawilachchiya reservoir in Mahawilachchiya
Mahawilachchiya reservoir in Mahawilachchiya
Mahawilachchiya reservoir in Mahawilachchiya
Mahawilachchiya reservoir in Mahawilachchiya
Mahawilachchiya reservoir in Mahawilachchiya