Christine Lawley

My Trip to Sri Lanka

In 2006 I took 9 months off work and did some voluntary work abroad. One of the countries I visited was Sri Lanka and I worked on 2 Bridge2srilanka projects – building 2 houses. I met Sarah briefly and then visited her in Guernsey. Since 2006 I have wanted to go back to Sri Lanka to volunteer again – in March/April I made that journey!!

It has been 6 years since I have seen Sarah but when I met her at Heathrow Airport it was as if we had met yesterday!

During my time in Sri Lanka we visited lots of people who have been helped by the charity. One of the houses I worked on in 2006 was for Pooja’s family – the little girl who had survived the Tsunami train disaster. It was very emotional seeing the family settled in a house I had helped to build (in a very small way). Pooja’s mum recognised me – there were a few tears!

I was also lucky to be at the beginning of another building project. A lovely family who are in great need of a house. Some of the builders I had worked with in 2006 were on site and it was great to see them again. Moving blocks and cement in the heat is very draining but the builders just get on with it!!

It was lovely to visit the children in the Siri Siduath and Frangipani pre-schools. The teachers and children made us very welcome. We joined in Sports Day at the Frangipani pre-school – what a laugh. It was great seeing the children, mums, dads, grandparents etc having fun. A day I will remember for a long time.

There are lots and lots of memorable moments from my trip and if anybody is thinking of volunteering I would highly recommend it.