- First Dine, Amazing Foods & Meeting A Platter Full Of New People
At dinner time we met Thushara and she was very lovely. Thushara was one of the hosts of Sri Lanka ISV and worked with British Council Society team on the Active Citizens Programme. I heard that she had eight years’ experience in organizing, planning, delivering and facilitating workshops and training programmes and what not!
She was ICT, web and Project management qualified as well. Well, she deserved a salute from everyone! Moreover she was a very friendly and nice person. Thushara took us to the buffet. Reaching there we also found other facilitators, Shaheedah Riza, Antony Ajanthan from Sri Lanka, Michael Unwin, Daniel Smith, James Edleston from UK and they were all so lovely and so candid. It did not occur to me for a moment that I was far away from my home, my country! Later on I learnt so much from them that I was really grateful for it.
|The very first dinner at MIMT in Sri Lanka|
And talking about the first dinner in Sri Lanka, to be very honest, I was really worried because of my first impression with Srilankan food on the flight (read more about it here), and ofcourse because everyone warned me that Sri Lankan spices, specially the coconut oil they use for cooking is neither gonna suit my appetite, nor my stomach! And I was very surprised to find so many delicious amazing foods bursting with flavors and taste! Every dish was more mouth watering than the last one ( To know more about Delicious Sri Lankan Cuisine read my blog-post here).
- Interactions, Sharing & Discussion
We shared many things over dine about our country, the environment, position of youth everything. The political situation was really a sensitive issue, but we had an open platform to share it. Now don’t think that we were only there talking about hard-nut things, we were having a loads of fun too. It was such a great experience to mix with a bunch of people coming from different corners of world carrying different culture, life-style and thoughts. We can only assume by seeing it on media or internet but in real life meeting with the real person, it’s totally different. Knowing things from their real life experience and knowing them personally change everything. It’s like illumination, the light that enhances your power of perception.
We came back to our chalet with greater hopes and expectations.
|After dinner, on the first night of our arrival, Maya & I|
- The Mid-night Guest
We came to know that participants from Pakistan would be arriving around midnight. I was expecting Shahida parveen and Tajzar Alam as I knew them already from Facebook. But till then Sazzat had to stay alone. By this time mishap did not leave him alone as he already broke the lock of his chalet while he was trying to get in! Anyway, Maya and I talked for a while. Then suddenly Sazzat called me. Anxiously he informed me that all of a sudden no lights were working in his chalet and he was completely in dark and there was no care-taker or watchman to help him. As I told you, mishap was still with him. Maya and I hurried to summon either a care-taker or a watchman and luckily we had both of them guarding us. I whispered to Maya, “That’s the privilege we get by being a girl!” We sent them to help Sazzat. After making it sure everything’s fine, we went to bed. I usually face trouble in sleeping in a new place. I kept wide awake while Maya fell almost asleep. Around 1am, I heard the crackling sound of the door. Jumping out of the bed I called Maya.
There was the second friend of my ISV, Shahida, from Pakistan! She came in cheerily! I am being honest, I thought that Shahida would be very introvert and quite but she not only turned out the opposite but also the talking queen of whole ISV!! From the moment she came in, we were friends! She continuously told me about this and that and that and this and that. She also studied in English Language and Literature just like me! Her father was in Army and in 1970, he visited Bangladesh as some natural calamity occurred and he was there to volunteer. She also mentioned that her father usually talked about Bangladesh a lot and while staying in this country a Bangladeshi family wanted their daughter to marry her father! She also told me about her Social Action Project. She lives in Bhahawalpur and in summer her home town turns into a desert. Sometimes the temperature hits 50 degree. So she was working on an environmental project and her team planted around 70 thousands plants which also helped her to win the National prize in Best Social Action Project. She talked so much that within an hour after her arrival I fell asleep.
It was my first night in Sri Lanka, my first step of the whole journey of ISV.
That night I did not have any dream.
Most probably because I was living my dream!
(To be continued)
(To be continued)