Thursday, March 6, 2014

Heading To A Wild-Life Adventure!

13 January 2014

Krriinngg!! Krriinngg!!

Yes, it was my alarm. I opened my eyes slowly. It took a moment to grasp the truth. A beautiful day it was, glittering sunshine, sweet smell of wild flowers and no noise of regular busy life, only sweet and chipper songs of birds! I took some deep breathes. 
Maya was sleeping and I reckoned, everyone else in the Chalet were having some peaceful sleep as well.
Today we were scheduled to visit the "Pinnawala Elephant Sanctuary" in Pinnawalla. I was a bit more excited for it because in last two days it was the first time we were going out of MIMT. As I already mentioned MIMT was Mass Fabric Park and it was highly restricted. No one was allowed to cross the perimeter.

The Road in front of The Elephant Sanctuary
I heard about the Elephant Sanctuary in Pinnawala. It was an orphanage for elephants. It was first established by the Sri Lankan Department of Wildlife Conservation in 1975 for feeding and providing care and sanctuary to orphaned baby elephants that were found in the wild. The orphanage was first located at the Wilpattu National Park, then shifted to the tourist complex at Bentota and then to the Dehiwala Zoo. From the Zoo it was shifted to Pinnawala village on a 25-acre coconut plantation adjacent to the Maha Oya River.
Thinking kept me so much occupied that when I heard noise in the dine I realized it was not only me who had woke up.
I found Shaheeda ironing her clothes. I too felt the urge to get ready as they asserted last night "Whoever wants to visit Elephant Sanctuary must be present at MIMT lobby room on 8 am sharp and whoever wants to have breakfast before leaving at least make it on 7.45 am sharp!"
I called Maya and hurried.

It was 8.20 when we left, 20 minutes after the required time. This visit to the sanctuary was optional for participants. Like, if anyone wanted to stay behind, that person was allowed to rest. In the end it turned out that everyone wanted to go! 

Finally we started our journey. It was required to take at least one hour to get in Pinnawala. Shaheeda, Maya, Helen Clifton, and two other participants from Sri Lanka were in the van with me.
Helen Clifton
I would miss a biggest part of my ISV if I would not mention anything about Helen Clifton, the only one who was busy in showcasing every participant! She was a freelance journalist specialized in social issues. She was here for the media coverage from the British Council. Every time she was clicking her camera, taking photographs, writing blogs and news and what not! She was truly a super-active woman! She had attended the previous ISVs in Palestine, Myanmar too. Usually she was very calm and quite but a very sweet-natured person, smiled every time she talked.

The market place beside the Elephant Sanctuary

I do not remember distinctly when did I fall asleep. Though I could feel my head bouncing left and right as the van was turning. Half asleep, half awake I felt that the van had stopped and I tried to comprehend whether we had actually reached our place or not. I was still dizzy but still Shaheeda's chattering made it clear that we had arrived already. I took a little glimpse around the place before getting off. It was such a wonderful place! I jumped out to experience another phase of my ISV! 

And this time the experience was not limited in a training room, rather it was a wild life adventure!

(To be continued)