The children presenting flowers for the traditional offering
On April 1st we had a packed day of events in Minneriya beginning with a daham pasala (sunday school) of 400 students studying under the trees in Nagalakanda Minneriya, with few school rooms to study in. It was a magical setting and I would recommend anyone to go there on a Sunday morning around 8am to see this awsome sight of so many children in traditional white, sarong or lamasari, for themselves.
We gave packs of exercise books to these kids
The next was another Sunday school this time at Akkara 70 close to my property in Raja Ela, Hingurakgoda. This was a new temple a few years from construction for the new settlers and the priest has done wonders in a short time to bring about a cohesive village.
Sunday school certificates were distributed
One of the girls giving us a dance performance
The MC was a girl of around 12 who took full charge of the proceedings a very admirable and unforgettable experience.
A smattering of the parents and well wishes who participated
We then went to a Sunday school cum school in the Middle of the forest in Ilukwewa near Sigiriya which also falls under the purveiw of Minneriya, Here one of the students lights the traditional lamp
Every member of the whole school were given a pack of 4 exercise books, the first time anyone had come here for a long time to give them anything. They have to fear elephants each and every day as all the parents are farmers who have been recently settled here.
The Students entertained us with a dance upon arrival
Another traditional dance in keeping with the harvest season
We then went to a farmer village and met with farmer families who related their issues with being able to find a reasonable price for their produce. They were given some Chillington Crocodile Mammoties
There was a meeting in the Hingurakgoda town where local people came and we also gave sports equipment to some sports clubs which are starved off equipment to play sports in the evenings and weekends.