April 7


I am home now. I am safe. My life is richer for the people I have met.

Thanks for sharing my journey with me.

love, sue

April 5

Departure Day

Parting is such sweet sorrow. The children from the orphanage walk by our dining area every morning as we are having breakfast. They are wearing their school uniforms, white shirts and blue skirts for the girls and blue shorts for the boys. It really choked me up to know that I would never see them again, they gave me so much joy. Their beautiful dark faces, shy smiles, joyful dancing. Inside I know they must hurt, no mommies or daddies.

Then it was time to say goodbye to my new friends, I will see some of them again. We will continue our friendships.

Driving away in the van the farm becomes a thing of my past, an experience I will cherish all the days of my life.

We have also form...

April 4


I woke up and went right to the poolside. About 7am, I wanted to have some quiet time and go for a swim. It was so beautiful, the pool is very nice and clean. The bottom of the pool is tile, it feels good on your feet. Not like the grainy pool bottoms we have. The pool area sits on high ground and juts out a bit into the ocean. The view is spectacular. I had been sitting only a few minutes and I was joined by a few more fellow yellow shirts. So much for the quiet time. Just teasing, it's also nice to have company. We ordered some coffee and chatted. A little while later more people joined us, we had moved a few feet from our original table where we had coffee. There are big crows every...

April 3

Sunday, Volunteer Appreciation Day

We went to a beautiful old hotel on the ocean in Colombo. Mount Lavina, it was originally built in 1802 as someone's house. It’s very regal. It reminds me of the Titanic. The wood, brass and finery. We arrive in 4 vans and enter the hotel together. The doormen wear white suits with short pants,white knee high socks and a round bowl type hat with a thing that look like a dart sticking up on top of it. The women greeters dressed in beautiful sarees placed leis made from sweet smelling pink magnolias around our necks. Once we all gather in a lobby with big windows that overlook the ocean, 2 drummers and 2 male dancers begin to entertain us. They were dres...

April 2

Saturday, free day

A bunch of us went to the beach. We did some more shopping. I never thought that I would shop so much here, but the prices are so inexpensive.

I had the beach pool to myself for a while, totally relaxing. My new friend Sonny and I went walking and shopping. We stopped at a place I had been in last week. Kind of an odd assortment of things. Old jewelry, silver, various trinkets. The man Hassem is very talkative, he invites us for tea and conversation. He was a world minded kind of man. He is Muslim. Actually he sang a song to us;

although we are from different lands
we share one earth and sky and sun
remember friends the world is one.

It was dark when we left, the 2 of us had to ...

April 1

Friday, Luke’s 21st birthday

This is our last work day in Sri Lanka. It’s a bittersweet day. Today I went with the teachers, they had 100+ bags of gifts to deliver to families outside of the village, tsunami victims that we haven't been able to assist and nobody else has either. Because this area wasn't hit as hard as the east and south coasts there has not been other NGO (non government organizations) assisting. We only had blankets, toothbrushes and paste, a few toys, nothing big, but we had to find a way to deliver without causing a riot. For those of you that are familiar with mardi gras, people just go crazy for free stuff. Mauling and mobbing, pushing and grabbing. The 1st v...

March 31


We had a major downpour last night. I dreamt I was riding in an amphibious vehicle. Hopefully we won't need one before we leave.
We went to 3 refuge camps today. Nobody needed any medical attention. I guess our work here as a medical team is about done. So we rode around taking pictures of churches and temples.

It started raining again. We went to a book store where I used a squat toilet for the 1st time. Aim is everything.

We did more shopping. Prices are so cheap.

We stopped to take a picture of a tall buddha statue. Crossing the street is always a challenge due to the traffic. The cars drive on the opposite side of the road. I looked the wrong way and stepped out in traffic. The cars ...

March 30

Wednesday, 1 week left

Today 4 of us went to the Negombo hospital. I did some breathing exercises and hand holding in the labor and delivery with a 1st time mom. I supported the head of a woman and she pulled her own legs and feet up, there is no family or dads to help the moms. The nurse did an episiotomy (it was not pretty). A baby girl was born. They have no bed sheets just a piece of plastic to deliver on. The mother has her street clothes on, a skirt and blouse. Her skirt is pulled up around her waist. No drugs are given. Baby appears to be healthy, wiped off with a cloth and put in the crib with the 5 other babies.

The staff is so very appreciative and accommodating to us. They serve us ...

March 29



I was awoken at midnight by Vicki who is Evan’s assistant. She said there was an 8.2 earthquake in Sumatra. Tsunami warnings are out. A group of us prepared to go to the coast if needed. We gathered around computer and the television, it has been 2 hours and no tsunami yet. The village has been evacuated. We have builders staying at a hotel on the beach. Evan has sent some one on a 3 wheeler to go warn them. My roommate Janet is at the hotel tonight, I am worried about her. There must be chaos on the coast.
If I haven't mentioned earlier we are right next to the airport, there has been many more planes then usual. After 3 hours no tsunami and I went to bed. Thank God.

I went...

week 4, part 1

March 28


I worked with the building team today. We’re still working on the community center in the village. I helped build forms to pour cement into for walls and shoveled fill.

The lines at gas stations are very long. People are preparing for a gas strike.