Saul Venit Photography



August 05 trip


This time Don stayed home and I went with my niece Hannah.

We met our fisherman Colin and his partner Udayah.  It was nearing the end of the first Monsoon which meant that although the sea was quite rough they could fish most days from a village between Ratmalana and Colombo.  Sometimes they let the boat out to other fishermen and shared the price of the catch.  They were also employing other villagers to mend nets etc.   We went for a short, scary ride in the fishing boat and twice we had fantastic meals - fresh fish - caught from the boat.  One day while we were there they caught a Marlin which was bigger than Hannah!

"Friends of Della and Don" takes to sea

Colin back at sea


We made four visits to the school and on the last day the kids put on a show for us.  We gave every child the material for a new school uniform (they cannot attend school without them) and we arranged for a local baker to deliver a nutritious breakfast every day between now and Christmas.    This means that they will learn with food in their stomachs - hunger is a distraction, and that their parents will be happy to send them to school knowing they will be fed.  


haggling over school breakfasts

breakfast time

back at school

Looking at the poster we made to
advertise our appeal for the school in England

We bought a fan for the school room and have arranged for a computer teacher to come in for 3 hours a week to show them how to use the computer which we bought- it is a start! The teachers will have to learn how to use it too.

The Computer Teacher

giving out uniforms

We sponsored the education of 8 children whose parents are too poor to let them attend school after the age of 12.

The "friends of Della and Don" are also building a play-area in the school grounds.  The children have absolutely no relief from the squalor in which they live and this will give them somewhere to go after school.  We have arranged to provide a round-about, a slide, a climbing frame and swings   .The local Priest told me that they will erect a small stone monument with a plaque to tell everyone who had provided the playground.    I said it sounded too much like a gravestone!

It is impossible to describe what it felt like to see the clinic with the plaque "gifted by the friends of Della and Don" in operation!  We met the Practice Manager and the Pharmacist - both of whom work on a voluntary basis as well as the doctor who was on duty that day. We have agreed to continue paying the salary and fares for the nurse as well as for the drugs.  You paid for all of the equipment and they had kept every invoice to show me, down to the stepping stool for the patients to climb onto the bed!

The Clinic

Some of you had asked me to sponsor children at the orphanage on your behalf which I did with the greatest of pleasure. I will be getting back to you individually.  The girls are really well-cared for.  We also donated $1,000 to support a teacher for the orphanage school.

The sponsored orphan girls

Not bad for 6 days!

 You really are making a huge difference to the lives of the village.   You have helped bring smiles to faces thousands of miles away    .Unfortunately, we saw no sign of any improvement at all as we drove down the coast in Sri Lanka.  There seems to be no rebuilding for the most part which makes your contribution even more valuable.

 I do have to mention how lucky we are to have our friend Sareth in Sri Lanka.  He was our driver-guide in 2003 and we met up with him again in 2004.  Since we left in January '05 he has arranged everything behind the scenes, set up appointments, settled disputes, paid the bills and helped make things happen.  He really deserves a huge vote of thanks from us all.


Bye bye see you next time!