SO, I thought since I've been here a while I should let you know what I'm doing when I'm not swanning around the country! My host family are lovely - Mum and Dad are Lanka and UK, then there's Rayan who at the moment seems to be taking a lot of leave from work to study (=staring into space ;) ). There's a German Shepherd called Blackie and a 'lady what does' called Mala. I have my own room and the other two volunteers are sharing the other room. It's a great house, the food is lovely and the family are really friendly. Work, now that's a different matter. I'm at an orphange for girls with special needs. Although it's not really an orphange in the truest sense of the word since a lot of the girls go home for the holidays. Oh, and there's some boys living there too! Anyway, there are about 65 girls and women there, most of them go to school and those that don't are expected to help out around the house - cleaning, cooking, washing, looking after the younger girls. On my first day there, they gave me a class of 6 teenage girls and said 'teach them'. These girls don't speak English, I don't speak Sinhala (I'm getting better, but then I had no words at all) and I didn't know where they were at. We did some numbers and some colouring and then they went off for a music lesson and I didn't see them again. The next day I stayed up at the house and helped occupy/stimulate the ladies who don't go to school. We do puzzles, play games, draw, make things from tissue paper, make necklaces and generally have a lovely time. I have lunch there, which is always rice and curry and is supplied by someone locally as 'alms' - usually in remembrance of a family member. I have done some other things too. When I arrived I didn't know anyone's name and no one seemed able to tell me. There's now an information sheet on each girl; name, photo, disability, family circumstances, likes and dislikes. That's taken a while to get all the info that I need from files, particularly since most of the files are not in English! Since Natalie, another volunteer, has arrived we've also cleaned the back wall which is painted but was so dirty that you couldn't see the pictures any more and redecorated the dining room. It's the same hours as at home 8.30am-3pm. I sometimes stay a bit longer, if I'm in the middle of something, but things get more than a bit chaotic once the girls come up from school at 1.30pm. With lots of volunteers there it's easier to manage, but when it was just me it was hectic. I'm glad I've been here, I'd like to think that I've made a difference, apart from the weekly de-lousing sessions!