Joining the Projects Abroad team this February, I was delighted to be given the opportunity to move from my home town of London to Colombo in Sri Lanka!
A previous Projects Abroad volunteer myself, I returned from a trip to Cambodia in 2007, brimming with inspiration, a love of a new country, and unforgettable memories of my first experience of both Asia and working abroad. Since then I have been lucky enough to work and travel in Ghana, Morocco and the U.S and can hardly wait experience the culture, beauty and welcoming people which I have been unanimously assured await in Sri Lanka!
Having graduated from Leeds University with a degree in History of Art, I’ve worked in galleries and exhibition houses, been an assistant art teacher, even worked on a film set or two, eventually landing a job in a PR and communications firm in the city!
I will never be quite sure how this all fits together! But am the envy of all my wonderful friends and family having been given the opportunity to come out to Sri Lanka as part of the team.
At home I enjoy cooking, swimming, painting and seeing my friends and in Sri Lanka I hope to indulge my adventurous side with a spot of surfing and scuba diving, although as a total beginner I’ve heard it’s far harder than it looks! I’m hoping that my two siblings will come out to visit Sri Lanka so that I may introduce them the new friends I will make, although with my twin sister and I being identical, I am sure that this may confuse a few people!
As a lover of both hot food and very hot weather, I am hoping that my past volunteer experience will help me compassionately relate to all new volunteers beginning such a unique and amazing journey away from home, and I look forward to assisting the ...
Nog maar 16 nachtjes slapen.... Tenminste als ik kan slapen....
Ik wordt steeds zenuwachtiger voor de grote reis. De hele dag en gehe ja ook nacht denk ik aan Sri Lanka en wat we daar gaan doen, hoe het zal zijn! De laatste voorbereidingen worden getroffen, inentingen, spulletjes kopen, laatste afspraken maken met vrienden en familie.. Ik vind het steeds vreemder dat ik al mn vrienden en familie best lang niet ga zien!! Hopelijk is daar goed internet en kan er regelmatig met Nederland worden gemailt, geblogt of geskypt!:)
Vanmiddag hebben we op school nog een gesprek hoe het gaat met de lessen die we in de 3 maand gaan missen en hoe de begeleiding terwijl we in verweggistan zitten wordt gedaan.. De meeste literatuur voor ons onderzoek hebben we inmiddels verzameld en staan als mooie word bestandjes op onze computers! Ideaal!
Gister kregen we een mailtje van Projects Abroad in Sri Lanka. In het mailtje stond precies in wat we moeten doen als we aan komen op het vliegveld. Gelukkig hebben we al heel veel informatie(lees: 50 pagina's) gekregen over het land, de gewoonten, ons gastgezin, leuke winkeltjes, goede hotels, goede telecom aanbieders etc etc! Echt geweldig!!Zoals het nu lijkt wordt alles dus goed geregeld en gaat het helemaal goed komen daar in het mooie Sri Lanka.
De laatste weken hier in Nederland nog even goed genieten van de lekkere gekookte aardappeltjes, boterhammen, chips, wijntjes, koekjes, de fiets en de kou... want voor we het weten zitten we tussen in ongeveer 30 graden tussen de palmbomen en het strand:)
By Signe Damkjaer
Finding your way around the sparkling, sizzling and colorfully chaotic city of Colombo is a great and exiting challenge for new foreigners like me. In spite of innumerable pieces of advice from my incredibly friendly, helpful, and supportive colleges at Projects Abroad I unintended still seem to venture into random but exiting pockets of the city on my way home from work or in search of groceries, a gym, coffee, a personal fruit seller a Kottu-place and all these other bits and pieces of essentials you need to put together in the exiting and confusing process of creating an everyday life in a new country. Luckily Projects Abroad has found me in an apartment just opposite Colombo’s biggest prison. This makes making your way home very easy. Whenever I am lost I just get in to a tuktuk and say “Take me to the prison, please.”
My name is Signe and I am from Denmark. I have a background in journalism and international development and I have previously worked in a couple of volunteer organizations similar to Projects Abroad. In my spare time, I really enjoy listening to and playing jazz music. So if anyone hears of a jazz band in this city in desperate need of a trombone player, I am in.
Study research, holidays and work has exposed me to South Asia and Southeast Asia many times already. My first encounter with Sri Lanka was a holiday 11 years ago, but I don’t remember much else than visiting a doctor who told me that my English and my stomach were in a really bad condition. This time I haven’t experienced any problems with either which is very lucky since I love talking to people and getting to know them as much as I love the tasteful Sri Lankan food.
I came to Sri Lanka because I ...
We had our monthly medical camp yesterday at Modarawila Tsunami Camp in Panadura. Three medical volunteers, Lisa, Lucy and Satomi measured the blood sugar and blood pressure of 180 residents. With the help of two local doctors, the volunteers took the readings and the patients were prescribed different medications depending on their ailments. The on-site pharmacist distributed the medicine for free. The volunteers finished their work around midday, satisfied with the day’s outcome. Camps like this one take a lot of pressure off local hospitals which are often understaffed and under resourced.
Photography is fun, there’s no doubt about that, but let's face it, most of us don’t really know what we’re doing when we take a photograph. We simply point, click and shoot and digital technology allows that simple methodology to produce some pretty decent snaps. However, at the Projects Abroad office, we’ve decided to take our skills a little further and have all enrolled in a 25 hour photography course. We had our first two sessions this week where we focused on exposure, focus points and basic settings on our digital cameras (there are some features I never knew existed - 'beach mode?') Next week we’ll get a little more practical so I’ll be sure to post some of our prize-winning pictures.
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