Trip Start Sep 26, 2006
31Trip End ??? ??, 2007
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INDECOS (The Institute for Development of Community Strengths) is a local NGO working in a variety of fields. They do work with training preschool teachers, vector borne illnesses (mostly promotion of prevention for malaria, dengue, etc...), HIV/AIDS awareness, health promotion (boiling drinking water, distribution of water containers after tsunami, etc...) and the project I'm primarily working on: the Women's Entrepreneurship Program (WEP).
The office is located in a really beautiful home about two kilometers east of Matara, just off the main road (heading to Galle). However, this home was 'abandoned' because it is conveniently located next door to a hotel/reception hall. Receptions, which thankfully are only hosted a few times per month, spill out into the garden
Days when there are no receptions, there is the constant sound of busses, horns, three-wheelers and helicopters; birds, squirrels, cats and dogs; and the sound of the gentle ocean breeze in the palm trees. Occasionally someone drives by selling stuff (usually lotto tickets) and making their presences known with a bullhorn or by playing 'this is a small world after all' over and over on some amplified electric apparatus (think dollar-store kid's toy) undoubtedly made in China.
Sometimes I can smell the salty ocean air (I'm about a 15-minute walk from the ocean). This is a big tease as the sun sets too early for me to enjoy a safe, comfortable 'sea bath' on my way home.
The building is not air-conditioned (very few are in Matara) but is well ventilated, so it's comfortable. I have my own work space - four walls, a desk, chair, ceiling fan, silk flowers (they are everywhere in SL), patio doors that open onto the garden next door..
Every morning, I am greeted by little lizards scurrying about my office. Birds and cats come for visits at my window.
Other than my boss - Conrad - and another gentleman working on AIDS projects, all of the staff are 20- and 30- year old females. Some speak English better than others, but it's all pretty basic. We have a really fun time trying to communicate: my broken Sinhala and their broken English keeps conversations pretty basic, but even so, every idea takes 5 minutes to convey - either way. We usually end up giggling a lot.
I had a heck of a time trying to remember all their names though!: Samila, Rasila, Rasika, Dinusha, Nichanti, Nadeeka, ...
I'll fill you in on the work I'm doing later on (once I figure out what I'm doing...)!