Thursday, 16 December 2010

monkeys, monitor lizards and money ! -

My last breakfast at Sunbeach Hotel.

Siri Madura .December 17th 2010
Well as I hear of freezing conditions in UK, I'm getting used to increasing temperatures here. The rain which was torrential for a few days, making me wish for Wellington boots as I struggled through the mud, seems to have ended and the dry tourist season is beginning.

I moved into Siri Madura on December 1st - 3 months after leaving my house in Brighton . Its a beautiful house , once owned by a rich family but unoccupied for 20 years. Workmen are renovating the place but my room is pretty much finished . Here is Zigger on my bed - in the lap of luxury ! And this is the entrance porch to the Centre-the Chandasevana Arts Centre at Siri Madura.                                                               

The gates are now in place in the stone wall which is down one side of the property providing some privacy for the outside dance and performance area though the other 3 sides are wire fencing.

I hope to have Internet connection before Xmas which will make communication a lot easier as I have to come to the hotel to use the Wifi.
The main Hall will be used for a range of activities and  begins with an arts day for a group of disabled residents from Suthilka Orphanage. Eilidh the other volunteer already has contact with them and it will ease us into a larger programme in the New Year

In the Garden of Siri Madura every morning we are visited by a very slow moving5 ft long monitor lizard and monkeys swing through the trees. In a disused Well we've  found a 10inch long terrapin sitting on a half submerged tree trunk and Sisera, the night guard feeds it fish
Other creatures are not so welcome and I am battling against creepy crawlies that consider the place their home after being undisturbed for so long.
money matters
The grand house and the large garden feel luxurious but just over the fence is a 75 year old lady living in poverty who used to be a servant at the house many years ago.  All around the cheery smiles for the tourists belie the issues which local people face every day. Part of my task is to make it a welcoming community resource and to provide activities which local people can enjoy and benefit from.

I'm not sure how I would feel if I was dependent on, and constantly surrounded by, multi millionaires squandering their money while I struggled to feed my family each week.
The challenge of coping with the climate and the culture change and of working out just who I am and what is right to do here is daunting at times but the support of people here and those in UK is very encouraging and I'm sure we will not loose a right perspective. 
Very good news is that Hullaballoo Quire  raised almost £200 at their gig at the Komedia this week and that means we can definitely start the Kandy dancing class as soon as the outside space is ready. This week the workmen have been making the concrete posts to support the roof of that area in the garden.

I will try to get another blog to you before December 25th but meanwhile have a truly happy festive season and thanks again for all your support.
Love fromEddi and Zigger