The new centre will be called The Chandrasevana Arts Centre at Siri Madura.
So I need to redouble efforts for fundraising.
£9000 would cover the next 12 months and activities provided for an average of 30 people each week.
Ive drawn up a present list - £5 would fund refreshments for all the participants in the Kandy dance class for a month! that's a lot of orange juice and. bottled water. A beginners course of 10 hours for 10 people over 3 months would cost about £25 per month.
IT classes will cost app £4 per person per session. and sponsoring a young person to do 5 weeks of art sessions would cost £10
Providing Internet access for a month £20.
I will add to the list in the next blog in case anyone wants any last minute Xmas gifts. I could always send a card from Sri Lanka allowing perhaps 2 weeks for post.
Well stormy but warm weather seems much more appealing that the snow and freezing conditions in some parts of UK.
Import and Customs Department in ColomboI collected my shipment from the dockside warehouse on Thursday- a very tedious and sometimes funny process that lasted all of 5 hours plus the 3 hour drive each way. We ( me and the taxi driver who stayed with me every step of this process and was amazingly helpful ) had to exercise diplomacy in chunks as we were moved from one office to another and then back again several times , paying various bits of cash and having to find my own pallet of goods in a warehouse as big as at least 2 football pitches and stuffed with palettes, and then while the stern faced customs official glared at me had to try to open the well shrink wrapped and double cardboard covered consignment with my tiny travelling nail scissors - trying to cut through sealing tape and wire bands and not daring to laugh, I remembered my Swiss army knife after about 5 minutes of this farce and it got a bit easier.
After a minimal inspection I got clearance but still more passport inspections and more papers to sign in triplicate and more going back and forward between the two offices.
I'm not sure if these procedures are a remnant of British Colonial rule or as was pointed out to me later a way of punishing those who, like me, didn't know that they indicate a need for some rupees to be presented with the papers at the beginning of the process.
After rescuing Zigger who had been locked up in a room as he wasn't allowed in the customs area we set off exhausted and at least the driver and I had the same opinions of the process and laughed at the same aspects of it all. He had been hoping for a quick trip as it was his wife's birthday. We were very hungry and I was very bitten by day time mosquitoes which although not malarial have been causing a rise in Dengue fever recently. That's a great name for a fever I think.
Though the driver wouldn't tell me what his pay is I later found out that the usual payment of a van driver for the trip to Colombo whether it be the 6 hours driving time or with the 5 hours in the custom shed , or what ever else the passengers want to do added ,is still the equivalent of £6 - that's the days rate however long it takes-- and many days there is no work. .
I unpacked the Yamaha Key board which was a donation from A Hullaballoo Quire member and it will be an amazingly useful resource with multitude of programmes and sounds . The tutorial will enable people to teach themselves. And it will certainly draw people into the Centre. There is a musician I met in February who lost his legs to a mine who I hope will assist.
I miss friends and the choir a lot but not much of England so far. And from what I hear of the freezing weather I'm not sorry to be out of it. Getting my head round people getting ready for Xmas and wondering if the roads in the North East will be clear enough to travel this weekend seems very strange,