Monday, July 30, 2012

LTLT Sri Lanka

Hello peeps!
Last week, I was in Sri Lanka to attend the Introductory Workshop for Youth Leaders on Learning to Live together. We previously had an LTLT workshop (read about it here and here) at Bandos, and got the opportunity to go from GNRC, and Democracy House so Nawaf, Shaam and I headed to Lanka on the 23rd. 

The Place
LTLT Lanka 2
We were staying at Vishvanikethan International Peace Center which is beautiful. It is filled with ponds, trees and lots and lots of flowers. The building is given a very old feel and the most important thing were its rules. We were to observe noble silence during all times, walk with mindfulness and talk compassionately. I was getting so used to the silence and it helped me to think, to get in touch with myself. I absolutely loved it there. My favorite part was the fish pond with the rocks leading to the meditation center. We were also to walk barefoot in the premises and the feeling of your feet touching the sand, the grass, the bricks, it just gives a natural feel and it's like meditation to your soul.

The Program
It was a three day program organized by GNRC where Suchith, the guy who came to Bandos last time along with facilitators Rajith, Sanjani and Prabha carried out the workshop with so many fun activities. We learned many new energizers, and activities to involve children in learning to live together. We also learned to design a workshop, to make an agenda and sessions and to carry out the sessions to achieve the leaning objectives. In all, I would say that by the end, we were very ready to be able to carry out programs by ourselves. y favorite part of the program was the Silent Journey, which I could not experience last time as I was facilitating. I especially loved the White room's burning of what we did not want int eh world, and the Green room's nature walk. 

The Food
Since it was during Ramadan, we did not eat during daytime, but the kitchen staff made us food for Iftar, and the lovely Aunty even got up by 3 and made us food for Suhoor. There were 7 Muslims including us and during the last day, we invited everyone to have Iftar with us and explained about Ramadan and the blessings of the holy month. The peace center provided only vegetarian food, and it was the best vegetarian food that I have ever tasted. I thought I would hate, it but it was so much better than the non-veg food we have here in the Maldives. 

The People
LTLT Lanka 3
There were 20 participants, three of us from Maldives, one from US and the rest from Sri Lanka. There were Muslims, Hindus, Budddhists and Christians and we learned a lot about each others religions and we were able to get well with each other.I met some very awesome people, and I'm inspired by the work they are doing for children and their ideas.

My Personal Experience
LTLT Lanka
I grew up a lot as a person during the trip. I had to sleep alone in a room (I am scared of EVERY SINGLE THING) but by the last night, I was able to sleep without getting scared. I also navigated myself on the last day while the guys were on their way to Yalla and I was going alone to airport and got myself on the flight. For me, this is a huge accomplishment as I have never been alone in an airport. I'm so proud of me being able to do all this myself. 
So, that's it. 

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