Charlotte from Idex Sri Lanka Volunteer Program

Who am I?
Hello I’m Charlotte! I’m 19 years old and from Denmark. I’m in Sri Lanka with one of my friends because we would like to travel and experience another side of the world. I have never been to Asia before, so it is really different for me to be here.

The reason why I thought that it would be nice to go to Sri Lanka, was because I had heard that it was a fantastic place to visit. But instead of just going on a vacation my friend Emma and I chose to do some volunteering because it could be an amazing thing to try. We chose IDEX because it sounded like they had a program for us. We are going to stay here for four weeks and after words are we going to Vietnam just for a vacation – not with IDEX.

My project – Cathedral Boys College.Life changing experience with IDEX.
When we first came here, we had a whole day of orientation, we learned a little bit Sinhala – which was really difficult, but funny! Our contact person in the house also told us about which project we had to go to everyday. My friend and I got the boys college where we should be English teachers. First we was a little nervous (and excided) because none of us have never tried to be a teacher before. So that was a challenge for us, but it was not that difficult as we thought. The school only has from grade 1-5 so we did not find it that difficult to figure out what we had to do with the kids. We also got books for all the grades but we mostly only used it in grade 3-5 because the boys in grade 1-2 could not speak that much English.

We really liked working at the school but it was really different from the school system in Denmark. Sometimes we had to be really careful how we handled a situation, because the teachers at the school did not do as we where use to. There was times where we did not know what to do and there were also situations where we could not do anything.
Working at the Boys College gave me a lot of challenges but in a good way. It was situations that I would never experience at home in Denmark. It gave me a lot and I am really going to miss the boys and the school. The staff was also so sweet they were not that good at English, but they tried their best to help us and communicate with us when we had questions.

Our house in Colombo, Sri Lanka – could not be better.Enjoyable safety with IDEX.
The house where we were located was a really nice place to be. We had a big living room with a lot of madrassas so we could hang out with the other volunteers in the house. Our rooms was also good and there is a bathroom in all the rooms. The rooms were big and there was a fen, air-condition, windows, good pillows and of cause a blanket. I think that I was really nice to have a room we could be in if we wanted to relax alone and that we also had a living room where we could be together. Everyday we had breakfast, lunch and dinner together which also was fantastic. We mostly talked about our jobs, because we worked different places and it was nice to hear what the other volunteers had experienced.

We also had the most amazing staff. Our contact person Bhagi was really helpful every day and if we had any kind of questions he where always available to help. He also went with my friend Emma and I to our project many times which was a really good help for us. We also had some amazing kitchen ladies! They made breakfast, lunch and dinner for us – everyday. They were so sweet and they are so good to make typical Sri Lankan food. The food is very different from what we are used to eat in Denmark, but I loved to try something new and it tasted fantastic. And of cause the afternoon tea we had every day was also delicious!

The weekends – a lot of different experiences! Travel that matters.
Adams Peak – I have never tried anything like that! An amazing experience with IDEX.
On the holiday the 4 of February we went to Adams Peak. We looked very much forward to do it, but we did not know what we got into. It was amazing but also the hardest thing I have ever tried! We went by night so we could see the sunrise – I have never seen anything like that, it was so beautiful! After we reached the top we had to go down again… and it was so hard… our legs could not work anymore after we had walked 5000 steps up. So it was not that funny to walk down again. But we were so proud of ourselves after we went down.

Weekend 1 – Galle and Yala:
The first weekend we went by a car with all the volunteers in the house our contact person and a private driver to Galle. First we visited the Dutch fort in Galle which wasso beautiful. Afterwards we went to our hotel near the national park Yala. In the afternoon we went to a temple and that was also fantastic to see. The day after we were picked up at six in the morning because we had to go to Yala national park. It was a three hours long jeep ride and we saw elephants and a lot of others animals. It was an amazing weekend.

Weekend 2 – Kandy:
We left from the house very early in the morning because we had to arrive at the elephant orphanage when it opened. The elephants were so cute and we saw them while the where eating and also when they went to the lake. After that we went to the botanical garden and that was so beautiful. Later we visited the Temple of tooth and it was so fantastic, I really liked that temple. When we arrived to our hotel we were very tired because we had been so many different places. The next day we saw the big Buddha and then we went shopping. This weekend was also very good.

Weekend 3 – Unawatuna:
This weekend was a little bit different form the other to weekends. This weekend we just went to the beach and enjoyed life. It was so nice and we had a really good time together all of us. Some of us got a little sunburned because we forgot that the sun is a little bit different from Europe. At night we went to a good restaurant and we had a lot of fun together. Sunday we just went shopping at then we eat lunch.

Weekend 4 – Hikkaduwa:
This we are going to Hikkaduwa by train, so it is another way of travelling this weekend because we always had a driver with us. I think that it is really nice to try something different and I am excited to go by train because it is also different from the trains in Denmark.

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