Thank you for the amazing experience in Sri Lanka . I had the greatest time and I learned so much, though it was a small period of two weeks. My home stay with Michael's family was a very good. They were so good to me and were the best part of my stay here in Galle . The food was excellent, the hospitality was great, and the home was good and comfortable. Michael and his wife was always watching over us & taking care of me. I was able to experience their culture, religion, and the love that they had in their family.
Michael - volunteer Coordinator - were very good to accommodate our experience. And concern that were addressed to Michael were immediately resolved. Michaels family also very good and we volunteers use to have lunch at Michaels after teaching finished with Buddhist monks .Michaels family is very good and they too gives good hospilaty to volunteers. I especially appreciate Michael for keeping us well and looked after well . . I thank him for all his hard work and for showing us some possible places.He showed most of the places in galle and the Dutch built ancient fort in Galle.He was so good and active with volunteers.
The best part of me experience here were the monks that I taught at the temple. It was very hard to say good bye to them. I had no idea how great my experience was and I was well pleased with the monks.The only thing bad was the period of two weeks was very fast and the time was not enough, But may be if I get another chance I would be very happy to volunteer in Sri lanka once again.
Thanks again for this great experience.
I touched down in Sri Lanka on Friday 6th October and from the second I arrived Michael and his family made me feel extremely welcome and looked after me like one of their own!! Michael made a special effort to include me in everything and at weekend when we were not in the orphanage he took us off to see many of the beautiful sights in Sri Lanka which I thoroughly enjoyed. His wife made sure we had ample food and always had a beautiful breakfast, lunch and dinner ready plus she gave us lots of little treats too. His three children were so so friendly and kind, we played games and chatted in the evening and got to know each other. The family went all out and I really enjoyed my stay with them, I will definitely keep in touch. They couldn't have done anything else to make me feel more at home.
The trip of the Island Michael organised was really action packed, we got to see all the major tourist attractions plus a lot more as our tour guide stopped in many other beautiful places that were not on the agenda. He was a very friendly guy and took time out to explain everything. The hotels we stayed in were very welcoming and the owners would take time out to chat to us, it was nice to get to know the local people. It was a fantastic trip and I couldn't believe we got so much packed into the four days. I would definitely recommend the Sri Lanka mini-adventure, I had a fantastic trip.
I am Lauren Cook from New York. Going to Sri lanka was one of the best trips I have had.I came to Sri lanka to help with the Sambodi Orphanage,which Orphans are Physically & Mentally handicapped. When I got here I worked not only with the Orphanage, But also teaching English to Buddhist Monks who were ranging from 12 - 14 years of age and also Partially helping to rebuild homes for Tsunami victims reconstruction project.
A typical day ranged from me teaching English in the morning for about 3 hours to Buddhist monks and going back to my host family for lunch, and then Traveling to the Orphanage and working, volunteering for about 3 hours. Although both projects were often challenging, there was always a sense of Reward at the end.
I lived in a host family in Michaels house ( My coordinator ) who not only provided me with meals and accommodation, But also treated me like one of the family members. The host family was very good and Michael also looked after me very well by giving all necessary information. it gave me a sense of Sri Lankan Culture, While also making me feel at home. I was able to learn some Sinhalese and also study about Sri lankan culture which is entirely different.
I would recommend to anyone to traveling to Sri lanka and helping to rebuild the community. Whether you go Through an organization such as Global Crossroads It does cost a fair amount of money to go through Global Crossroads, Because you do receive the control of a Coordinator and host family, And get to see the culture first hand through the eyes of a Sri Lankan home. So at last I would like to recommend to anyone to travel to Sri Lanka and help to rebuild the community and its very safe place in southern Part of Sri lanka, Galle.
Michael, Ravi & Paul were all excellent. Extremely organized and everything went very smoothly. This truly was an experience I will carry with me the rest of my life. And it is people like this that make it happen. This was truly a most gratifying experience For me. I would do this again if need be. I hope GLOBAL CROSSROAD continues to help. thank you for giving me the opportunity to make a difference in Sri Lanka.
P.S The hotel was excellent too.Upali & Ajith were the best, their hospitality was beyond compare. They could not do enough for us. Thank you.
I came to Sri Lanka to give to people who have been devastated by a tragic event. What I didn't Expect is what I received in return. The people of Sri Lanka have been very giving even if they little to give. They have invited us in to their homes to meet their families and to see their lives. In addition I have fostered friendships with the other volunteers that will last a lifetime meeting people from all over the world and some that live 20 minutes from me that all have a common goal of helping those in need is priceless. I have met some of the most earning and accepting people this world has to offer and I will cherish that for lifetime. This by far has been the best experience I have had away from home in my lifetime and I thank Global Crossroads for bringing in all together.
Global Crossroads exceeded our expectations in nearly every aspect. The work was extremely rewarding the people on the site (Coordinators laborers) went above and beyond their duties in making us comfortable and welcome. The hotel was as described. The accommodations were adequate and the food was fantastic and the location could not have been better. The hotel staff was very friendly. We had no problem on arrival to Sri Lanka but should see that pre program communications are clearer. Overall the program was a smashing success and it is our understanding that the vast majority of our group felt the same. Even after extending our work beyond the scheduled 2 week period if it was still sad to leave because of the strong ties we built and the rewarding experience we would not be able to take with us .
An amazing experience with good work and good people. Felt good to see the work progressing every day the children and the families were simply too welcoming and warm. The worksite was such a happy place. But sometimes I wished that there would be more Sri- Lankan skilled workers to get the work young future Great trip! Children. Poll Pancake. Counting in Sinhala; Plain Tea B-Day parties Sifting, Painting Hari Hondaye!
P.S The hotel was excellent too.Upali & Ajith were the best, their hospitality was beyond compare. They could not do enough for us. Thank you.
Erisha (Presently in USA and Originally from Nepal)
Fantastic experience. Srilankan people are so generous and loving. Work was hard at times but the teams made it grate fun. Building the houses was a great experience I learned so much. Great time all around.
Claire Curtley ( Ireland )
Great group of people everyone worked to their fullest the families were so generous and appreciative. I will never forget any person, moment or laugh that I had in Srilanka. It's an enchanting country with endless smiles. Being able to give two weeks of time doesn't seem like enough, but the houses will bring a family an in memorable amount of happiness. Thank you GLOBAL CROSSROAD for getting me here.
Working with a wonderful team of American and British volunteers on five houses for surviving families of the tsunami was the most amazing experience of my life. Many of us who read about the terrible circumstances faced by people living in developing countries feel that the issues are insurmountable and believe that there is little one individual can do to help. The tsunami brought all these realities into our comfortable living rooms and, thanks to the volunteer opportunity offered by Global Crossroad, I learned that one person can make a difference.
If you decide to get involved you can get satisfaction from hard manual labour resulting in a home for a very deserving family. Getting to know and working with international volunteers and Sri Lankans is a reward in itself. The Sri Lankans are warm, gentle, caring and generous people. Those who have almost nothing will share their home and food with you. Should you have the opportunity to seek a family out and help them in some personal way - clothing, furnishings, a roof, job assistance - don't hesitate. For the cost of one night out in your home town, you can make a huge difference in someone's life.
For the experience to be most meaningful you need to be prepared. Working in excessive heat for six hours a day is very tough. The accommodations really are basic - shared rooms, cold showers, limited comforts - but better than how most Sri Lankans live. Our meals were fine but you do need to get out just for some variety and a change of scenery. The tools and construction methods are rudimentary and some days there is insufficient direction. So you need to be patient and recognize that this is likely how the work has always gotten done and, with a total of 88,767 homes and 26,179 buildings to entirely reconstruct or repair, the demand for materials must be huge.
This experience changed my life and that of many people in our group. Many of us plan to return because there is so much to do. Hopefully I will be able to convince family and friends in Toronto and the rest of Canada that this is something important to support.
Member of the April 15-28 Volunteer Team
Hi Friends of Global Crossroad
I have recently returned from Sri Lanka, and must confess that the experience was a most satisfying and enriching one. Both the staff and colleagues were good to work with. If Global may need any assistance in communication, coordination, future accounts, liaison and/or planning; then I'd be more than happy to extend an offer of further voluntary support towards this cause.
Dear Friends of Global Crossroad
Martin (Taylor) and I plan to write to you properly to express our appreciation of being allowed to take part in the Tsunami crisis. We were honoured, blessed and privileged and thank you most sincerely for all that GC did to facilitate our involvement.
Will write more next time. Meanwhile, warmest greetings from Cornwall, England, and many many sincere thanks. Please pass on my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) to potential volunteers.
Elizabeth (Libby) Stracey, UK
I worked for four weeks at an orphanage in Galle in Nov 2003. Looking after 54 children aged just 5 days old to 7 years old. While frustrating at times and initially shocking, I had the most incredible, unforgettable experience of my life. The snippets of Sinhala (Local Language) that I learned at Ambalangoda during two weeks language and cultural program before commencing work were invaluable, but it was most obvious that simple interaction and a smile transcended the language barrier and it was no longer an issue.
Every day brought a new challenge, and a new test of patience, but with everything came the best rewards. The welcome I received from the children and the staffs of the orphanage was the most beautiful experience of all. I feel as thought I have been allowed the privilege of knowing a part of Sri Lanka culture that is otherwise hidden away.
Thank you to Lal for all the supports - the Language program was especially useful in allowing me time to adjust to, and immense myself in , the Sri Lankan lifestyle before I commenced work.
A once in a life Time (though I hope not) experience I will never forget
Wow! Our 14 days volunteer program Sri Lanka finally came to the end. It only seems like yesterday that we were groggily got off from our Singapore Airline flight and were warmly greeted by Lal (in country coordinator Global Crossroad) and his son. While we were a bit apprehensive about out volunteer and home stay experience in Sri Lanka. Our hesitation was allayed by the generosity and kindness of Lal family and our working place over the period. There are seemingly hundreds of stories, anecdotes, and happening that took place-many more that we could possibly recount. In particular, our time spends with honorable priest, Lal and of course our unforgettable driver, Tuti will always be unforgettable. As two of us affiliated with the Global Crossroad volunteers program here in Sri Lanka and made additional entry into visitors books, we hope that this is most successful and unforgettable program designed by Global Crossroad, we wish for further success that Global Crossroad could deliver such as unforgettable program to future participant as two of us experienced here in Sri Lanka. We wish all the best and successful future of Global Crossroad.
All the best
Colin Butrick and Takae Suzuki
My volunteer experience in Sri Lanka was an amazing adventure and challenge. Nothing could have adequately prepared me for the culture and lifestyle differences between 1st and 3rd world countries. Honestly, my initial response once I arrived in Sri Lanka was "What have I gotten myself into?"
However, after I recovered from the initial cultural shock, I was able to appreciate the warm hearts of those who made my stay in Sri Lanka an experience I will never forget.
During my volunteering I was attached to the "Paradise Orphanage "in Rathnapura, the famous City of Gems in Sri Lanka. There are 69 kids ranging from one day old to 8 years living and being cared for at the orphanage. My host family accepted me and made me feel a part of their wonderful family. They taught me the most about Sri Lankan culture, customs, religions and the Sinhalese language.Although the children and staff at the orphanage were absolutely amazing, I know I will never forget the kindness, laughter, love and happiness that I experienced at the orphanage. I will forever remember each and every child who opened their arms and heart to me. It was heartbreaking to leave the children, but I hope to return in the future.
I am grateful for every one who assisted me during my Sri Lanka experience. I don't know what I would have done without them.
Erica Schemenauer - USA
Upon first arriving in Sri Lanka I stayed at Lal & Sirimas house (National Coordinator of Global Crossroad in Sri Lanka) in Ambalangoda, a small coastal town in the south west. I arrived in Sri Lanka with my brother Richard and we had the opportunity to learn the local language Sinhala during this period.
On the 11th of February we moved to the home stay in Ganagoda, a small rural village near Ambalangoda. Soon after we commenced our volunteer work. I engaged in developing the job hunting skills of unemployed younger persons and my brother Richard engaged in teaching English and martial arts to the youth of the area. The program implemented by myself includes different job hunting and search techniques, such as preparing a CV, letter of application, and interview preparation skills work shops to many young unemployed people in the country (about 25% of young people are unemployed in Sri Lanka). Here I was matched up with a translator who assisted me in running several workshops over the next three weeks to about 150 young people. We also implemented a workshop experience program to 25 of the most suitable applicants; there I had the opportunity to meet and liaise with local businessmen and understand some of the differences in how business is done between Australia and Sri Lanka.
Both programs turned out to be very successful and I received wonderful cards, presents and poetry from my students. I am expecting that my mailbox will be full when I return to Australia. During my volunteer program and language and sight-seeing program to Adams Peak, Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, and more, I have learnt many things. I am now experienced at jumping on a moving bus and traveling in a crowded bus. I understand what it is like to live in a rural village and the joy that can be had playing cricket and reading English story books with the local children.
This is only the beginning of what I have learnt and experienced.
Thanks Global Crossroad, Lal and Sirima, my host family, and especially to the young people who joined us during our volunteering to make this possible.
Michaela and Richard Drapes- Australia
The wonderful Lal Emanuel has made our stay in this enchanting place memorable. From the time we arrived, he handled every aspect of our family's well being through work, play and travel. His knowledge of the local culture and well rounded caring management experience, with his social government background, more than qualifies him for all he did for us. He cares for his country and thrives on the interaction with people that care to make a difference. I brought a laptop, microphone and ESL software program that made such an impression on helping teachers in schools and the temple to improve their English pronunciation. Their honest thankfulness will be something that I will carry with me, always. In his retirement he finds fulfillment in using his connections to have placed my professional strength and knowledge where it best fit. He took enormous personal effort in satisfying our dreams of visiting temples and personal meetings with Buddhist priests, translating for hours and returning us safe and sound every time. He opened his house and we became very close. We even cooked in the kitchen learning local cooking and preparation and preparing some western foods he tried as well. He and his wife made our boys feel at home in this far away and different place in an unbelievable friendly way that I will never forget and I will always thank them for.
Keep up the good work building bridges,