July in particular was still a very difficult month with long power cuts and still no supply of gas, petrol and diesel. Also, not all medicines were for sale.
In school life just went on with teaching, the after-school classes like cooking, crafts, dancing, graphic design etc.
When the Dutch ambassador said goodbye, she promised a trampoline for our school. It was delivered in early July. What a joy for our students. None of them, even the staff, had ever seen a trampoline in their lives. The first children who were allowed to jump were therefore a bit hesitant. But after a while everyone got used to it and they stood in rows waiting for their turn, even the young teachers took part.
Because we have to cook on a wood fire due to a lack of gas and electricity, we had difficulties finding a good cook for the kitchen. After one week, two chefs said goodbye in succession and the teachers were forced to help with the cooking. We were lucky that Nilanthi (cook) came to ask for a job and she didn’t mind cooking over a wood fire. However, she has adapted the cooking area and she managed to put three meals of rice with “curries” on the table every day on a wood fire.
Meanwhile, anti-government protests in Sri Lanka continued in Colombo and elsewhere, and the president fled to Singapore. We had curfews and there was an uncertain situation in the country. A new acting president was soon appointed, no stranger to the political world.
On July 18, the test week for our students for the reports started in school. After that, all students went home for a holiday for 3 weeks because luckily some buses were driving again.
The third trimester started on August 22. The students happily returned to school. It was teacher Piumi’s birthday and that was celebrated with sandwiches and cake. We also went to the temple to do a Poya for Mr. Gerard Smienk from Tubbergen, who died in mid-August. He had been a sponsor of our Deaf School for 35 years. He had indicated that he would like a gift for the Deaf School instead of flowers. This action raised no less than Euro 2700/=.
The 4 deaf students who took their O-Level (MAVO) exam in May, all four are enthusiastic busy. Nirmal works at a Pizza Hut in Colombo, Sithmi takes a course in Pastries and Cake making. She is already getting orders for cupcakes from shops in her neighbourhood. Furthermore, Lakshitha works with his uncle in the cinnamon industry and Nethmi works in a small workshop where handbags are made. On Aug 26, Sithmi came to school with two homemade cakes, which she baked especially for everyone in school!
The situation in Sri Lanka has been improving step by step since the end of August. For the first time in 8 months we can buy a gas cylinder again and now also 20 liters of petrol per week for the car. Unfortunately, no diesel yet. Bus transport is almost back to normal, and trains are running again.
New email address Tineke de Silva: <firstname.lastname@example.org>