Monthly Archives: July 2013

One Day in Japan…

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The saga of doing any work other than my own continues!

July 11th and 12th was Japan Children’s Festival in Galle and Tangalle.  We went to local schools and turned them into Japan for a day.  Kids from several schools gathered and we shared cultures and fun times with each other.  Activities available to students were: Japanese Calligraphy, Origami and Cooking.  I was in the cooking team.  Everyday, we taught 120 kids how to make dorayaki.  It was simple, and Sri Lankans like sweet foods, so it was good.

要請内容以外の活動が続く。。。

7月11・12日はジャパン・チルドレンズ・フェスティバルがゴールとタンガッラで行われた。地元の学校を一日だけ、「日本」に変身させて、子供達に日本の文化を紹介した。習字、おりがみ、料理などを教えた。自分は料理担当。どら焼きを作った。。。って言うか、子供たちに作らせた。2日間で200個くらい焼いたかな。

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作ります。

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休憩注グラウンドでクリケットします。

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出来た!うまい!

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夜はスポンサーがこんないいところに泊めてくれた。Good night!

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Books in a flash!!!

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I saw this book yesterday at a cafe and decided I wanted to own it.  I went to www.books.lk and ordered it today during one of my tea breaks.  When I got home today, around 5pm, the dude was waiting at my door!  Less than 5 hours after ordering…impressive…

昨日、ちょっとオシャレなカフェでこの本を見て、欲しいと思った。今日のテェー休憩週にwww.books.lkから注文してみた。そしたら、今日の活動が終わって5時頃に帰宅したら、届いていた。「注文決定」とクリックしてから5時間も経ってない。ちょっとびっくりした。。。

間に合うわけないやん!

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The title line translates directly to

“Well, no F#$%in9 SH!T we’re always running out of Helium!”

Yes, that’s right.  After almost 1 year in Sri Lanka, I’ve finally figured out why we always run out of Helium.  Why it never gets here on time.  Like any company, you have to get a quote from the supplier, write a purchase request, get it approved and get a check to buy the thing.  Because of all the bureaucracy, it takes about 3 weeks to get that check.  But the price estimates from the Helium supplier is only good for 2 weeks.  By the time we go and buy the Helium, the price is different (and often higher).  So, we have to ask for the money again, which means get a new quote, write a request, get it approved etc etc.  By then, of course, the price has changed and we have to do it again.   It’s a wonder we’ve been able to buy any Helium at all.  I wonder how they have been doing it…

ヘリウムガス欠問題が少し明確になった。

どの会社と同じなように、何かを購入する場合は、見積もりをもらって、購入申請と書いて、調達部に送って、承認とお金をもらって、そのお金で買いに行くことになっている。これが大体3週間位かかる。残念ながら見積もりの有効期限が2週間。買いに行くころにはもう値段が上がっている。お金が足りない。また見積もりをもらって、購入申請を書いて。。。わぁぁぁ!こう言う仕組みになっていた。面倒臭くて馬鹿らしいけど、よく考えると、今までこんな状態で買うことが出来たのがすごいと思う。

まぁ、そういう感じで活動を少しずつ進めてってます!

Healing Homes

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This is the second installment of me not doing my work and going to see others do theirs.

Kurunegala is a small town about 3 hours northeast of Colombo.  There, Fukuda JV is a Social Worker Volunteer who makes his rounds to different nursing homes and hospitals.  They do exercises, measure weight and blood pressure, and most importantly, have fun.  It’s the very image painted by overseas volunteer organizations: being sent to a far away land, integrating into the community, and helping to improve people’s lives).  But it’s much more moving, and more fun than I had ever imagined.  As we left, Fukuda JV said, “It’s just as healing for me to come here as it is for them.”

So true, so beautiful.

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活動見学が続く。今回はコロンボからバスで約3時間離れているクルネーガラと言う町に来た。ここにはソーシャルワーカー活動をしている福田隊員が活動している。老人ホームに行き体操したり、血圧測ったり、お喋りしたり、スリランカのおじーちゃん・おばーちゃんたちといっぱい遊んで笑顔をもらったり。昼ご飯までもらちゃった。血圧測定しながらシンハラ語で、「おばーちゃん、元気?ちゃんと薬飲んでる?最近ちょっと寒いよね。。。」など、世間話をしながら笑顔で活動する福田隊員。そう言えば、こう言う「絵」見たことあるな。協力隊と言う絵。でも、その場にいると、想像以上感動。そして、異常に楽しい!帰りに言った:「まぁ、自分が癒されに来てるみたいなもんだけどな」と。

素晴らしい。

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Youth Orchestra

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Considering the troubles I have been having with my own volunteer activities, I’ve decided to spend more time visiting and seeing what other volunteers are doing.  I’d get a deeper understanding of JICA activities, get to visit more places in Sri Lanka, and meet more people.  Not a bad way to spend otherwise unproductive time.  My first stop was to see Music Education Volunteer Yamamoto JV.  The National Youth Orchestra of Sri Lanka held a free concert in Galle to promote arts and especially music to young students of Southern Sri Lanka.  The individual students are quite good, but the conductor(s) seemed really erratic.  Yamamoto JV looked like she was having fun.  Overall, a very nice afternoon of music.  Live music is always good for the soul!

大分前の話だが、自分の活動が中々進まないこともあって、他の隊員の活動見学に力入れることにした。スリランカの他の地域をもっと訪ねて、協力隊の活動をもっと深く知り、色んな人と会って話す。まぁ、悪くない時間の使い方かなと。まずは、音楽と言う分野で活動している山本隊員が担当しているNational Youth Orchestraの演奏を見に行った。教育省(?)を通じてスリランカ南部の学生・生徒に「音楽を好きになってもらい、音楽を始めてもらう」と言うようなイベントだった。クラシカルから最近のポップスまで、結構楽しかった。急きょ山本隊員も打楽器で出演決定。笑顔で楽しそうだった。やっぱり音楽は、生がいいね!

Sing a song of garbage…

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Considering the troubles I have been having with my own volunteer activities, I’ve decided to spend more time visiting and seeing what other volunteers are doing.  I’d get a deeper understanding of JICA activities, get to visit more places in Sri Lanka, and meet more people.  Not a bad way to spend otherwise unproductive time.

Environmental Education Volunteers teach kids and cities about the environment and waste management.  Sometimes, the kids teach us.  This is from the Environmental Theme Song Contest.  Kids rewrote popular songs to reflect waste and its effects on the environment.  This is the regional finals.  The winners of each region will face off later this year at the national competition to pick the best song and group.  The songs were really good.  The song choices ranged from children songs, ballads to recent pop songs.  In the cities, the garbage truck play music or chimes through their loud speakers, or just honk their horns to tell people they are coming.  They are thinking about using some of these songs or that.  That would be really cool…Direct contribution of kids to change their environments for the better! SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC