March 20

Sunday, Free Day

A group of us walked to a catholic church this morning, we got there a little late because we couldn't figure out what time it started. It must have been 730am because we got there before 8am. The mass was in Singhalese. Palm Sunday, the church was overflowing 100 + people outside in addition to the several hundred inside. We were in the shade, outside and sweat was already dripping off our faces. The building was beautiful, statues and crucifixes. Once again back to the 1950s. The women had lace doilies on their heads.
Sunday is our day off, so we went to a very nice beach not too far from the farm in the city of Negombo. We pd 800 rupees for the use of the pool, beach, towel...


March 19

Saturday, Reflection Day

Off to Mother Teresa's orphanage in Columbo. There are many locations throughout the world.

As the bus pulled in there were about 10 children playing at a small playground that was enclosed by a chain link fence. They ranged in age from 4-7 yr old. the children ran to the fence and waved and yelled to us. The facility is old, it looks like the 50s. A lot of small rooms surrounding courtyards. Statues of Mother Teresa, Jesus and Mary were placed throughout. There were about 100 children there we saw only 25. Most of the children had short hair, but they still had a problem with head lice. Laughing, crying, runny noses, just like our children. There was an area for child...


March 19, cont.


In the bus again, I felt sad as we pulled away from the orphanage. We drove down the coast to the more affected tsunami disaster areas. The further south we went the greater the destruction. There were red cross tents scattered around. so much clean up work had been done, some houses were being rebuilt. Red Cross tents are light colored canvas with the Red Cross on them. They look like 8 man tents, thick ropes and wooden stakes anchoring them down.

There were still some broken fishing boats scattered around maybe 100 meters from the shore line. The boats are colorful here, blues, reds, yellow wooden deep hulled fishing boats. Old nets scattered around.

Every time we get out of the bus ...


March 18

Not quite myself yet, still weak and foggy headed (ok so what else is new) but i decided to join the medical team. I had arranged for a doc from Negombo hospital to take us to a refuge camp.

The camp was set up by the Red Cross, it's very organized, most of the tsunami victims here are educated. It is in an enclosed area, cement wall around it. There are armed guards at the gate. The doc talks to the guards and they let us in. There are canvas tents everywhere, but in a very organized fashion. A first aid area is avail. We treat wounds, hand out medication, tooth brushes, stickers, whatever we have.

It is a very interesting experience. The children love the attention, we practice counting and ...


March 17

St Patrick's Day

I was green.

I woke up in the am feeling queasy and I ate a light breakfast, coffee, a little banana and peanut butter on a crepe. Hopped in the van and headed for the village.

On the way we saw the funniest site in the midst of all the traffic, right in the middle of the road 2 dogs were aggressively mating and one dog watching them/or maybe waiting for his turn. ha ha

Remember that the ride is very bumpy and congested, 2 hours later we stopped at the hotel close to the village so i could use the bathroom, where I proceeded to throw up (i won't be descriptive). I felt better so I went along to the village, when we arrived we went to a Muslim school where we were told a few days...


March 16

We went to the Negombo Hospital today, so interesting, it's a government hospital. 450 occupied beds, 1000 people seen in the clinic by 14 docs per day. Nurses earn 16000R ($160/month). In the NICU there were servo 300 ventilators, that is high tech, i assume they were donated maybe by siemens. 6 babies were born within the last few hours, all in 1 crib with a heat lamp hanging over them and it was already very hot in there I can’t imagine why they would need a heat lamp. They were so cute, they looked like a litter of puppies. Laboring mothers lined up on gurneys right next to each other, they had their street clothes on. Maybe that's why all the women wear dresses. Easier to give bir...