Overall Rating:/ 10Volunteering in Sri Lanka has been one of the most rewarding experiences. I chose to participate in several projects throughout Galle and Badulla. I began my journey in Galle, where the area is a bit more modernized. You'll see many foreign faces throughout the beach town areas and around the fort. The main vehicle of transportation was tuk tuks. I encourage to investigate prices when inquiring certain rides. Being a foreigner, they tend to overcharge for the cost of a simple ride. Sometimes this charge can be double, or even triple the local price. Don't be afraid to bargain a little, they will most often agree to your proposal.
In Galle, my project consisted of working with children. The project was located at a local boys orphanage. Many of the kids did not understand much English. Body language and picture drawing were the most ideal way of communication. The kids absolutely adore outdoor activities. We played rounds of volleyball and soccer. Volunteers from China brought along bubbles, which captivated the kid’s attention for an overwhelming amount of time. I would strongly suggest potentially bringing along small toys if possible; toy cars, dolls, arts and crafts. They also greatly appreciate candy! The kids are truly amazing. They are some of the most well-mannered kids I had been privileged to work with.
My Galle, Sri Lankan family was incredible. I stayed in one of the volunteer houses neighboring my Sri Lankan grandfather and grandmother. They constantly ensured my day was managed and always kept me well fed. If you grow interest in traveling to outside areas, grandfather is more than happy to help. They help arrange anything and everything you may need assistance with. Grandfather also partners with local tuk tuk drivers that are fair and honest with pricing to assist you anywhere you intend to travel. Overall, they are extremely accommodating.
After two weeks, I decided to relocate to Badulla. Shiwanthi, my house mother, was amazing. She manages all the projects in Badulla and can arrange any additional travel when you may have time off. She graciously wrote up a list of places that might interest your sightseeing expectations. I was able to visit each place with her aid. I must also add, she is quite an unbelievable cook. She made a variety of traditional Sri Lankan dishes each day, which were outstanding.
In Badulla, I participated in the pre-school education program. The adorable children are also well occupied by candy and toys. They become fascinated quickly when they see a foreign face. We sang songs and had many colouring sessions. I would also suggest bringing some candy along for these lovely little faces. The absolutely adore our unique foreign candy options.
Sri Lanka's volunteer programs are highly recommended. After almost a month of my Sri Lankan travel, I had to say farewell and it didn't nearly feel like enough time. The people are beyond friendly, the culture is rich with tradition, and the sites are outstanding. You'll be able to visit an endless number of temples, and see some of the most breath-taking views. Each program has been exceptionally rewarding. This opportunity has changed my life in ways I couldn't have even imagined. Remember to always keep an open-mind set, and don't forget to appreciate this extraordinary experience!