Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in TRIP Canada Program.

Working together to accomplish a lot: DWC’s TRIP Canada in Sri Lanka

Posted in TRIP Canada Program on April 17, 2019

Today the volunteers all moved to a new worksite, new families and new experiences.

KIDS TEAM (aka Camp Cupcake!):

Happy to arrive at the beautiful Canadapura Orphanage. Lots of trees, coverage from the sun, a tea room, music to help us through the day and a fine toilet! TEAM CUPCAKE was on the scene and ready to go! Work began immediately at full speed.

It was wonderful to meet up with a team of old friends including Kal, Senevi, Priantha and Darshana.  Bosses Kal and Don put us to work moving bricks and creating two rooms out of one. We made great progress and finished 3/4s of the wall by tea time.

Penny gets us started.

Ian and Julie keep it moving.

We are getting very close.

After tea, some team members of a certain height set to work parging furiously. Everything proceeded perfectly until just before lunch. Unfortunately, eagle eye Kal noticed a lack of depth in the plaster to the wall. Large corrective lines soon brought everyone back on track. Now it was slap slap slap and finally Kal was satisfied. We also moved onto sifting sand and plastering. The see-saw motion was a great workout and got the heart pumping. The Dancing Queens (no names) got quite energetic in accompanying sifting with her gyrations.

After lunch scaffolding up, Priantha worked on finishing the upper walls. The team kept up a steady supply of bricks and mortar. Finished product magnificent by end of work day. Kal managed the site really well, used the team efficiently and we all had fun together working and listening to music.

The lower wall is done.

Penny and Ian get the high stuff.

Team Cupcake a success!


The progress at this site is incredible. We started from the foundation just two days ago and most walls are close to roof height. The challenge today is to set the sidewalk and assist the masons getting the walls up with windows and doors installed. Lots of heavy lifting especially making and transporting the cement for the sidewalk.

Crystal fills the wheelbarrow.

Am delivers it.

Janet helps with window install.

And Jon gets lots of support.

The team dug in and there was lots of competition for the toughest jobs – making concrete, moving it, cutting bricks to meet the exact specifications of the masons installing windows and doors. Jon is delighted to get so much input from his supportive team mates!

Dilruski gives a Sinhalese lesson.

Jeevan helps out.

Kids love their gifts.

Job well done team.

We had a chance to see how the family lives now and understand their commitment to work with us every day to help build their new home. While somethings are naturally challenging for Jeevan, his wife Dilruski works non-stop and even takes time to teach us some Sinhalese words. The gifts that Beth brings for the children makes their day – and ours!


A new crew and today started out learning a new technique for sifting sand. It is interesting to discover the nuances in technique both in sifting and parging between the different work crews. Their sand is not sifted as finely and our parging demo by supervisor Podi had us applying the mixture to the wall more like spreading butter and less like slapping the mixture against the wall. In the end you do WHATEVER you can to get it on and make it stay.

Although the house is near completion, we quickly realized that there is a lot to do in order to finish the house before we leave Tangalle. We had to put our heads down and just get ‘er done! Our DJ George supplied some fabulous tunes and with the help of our pop singing parger, Joshua, we thoroughly enjoyed the work. The late morning was spent sifting, parging and levelling. Who knew that belting out tunes was not Joshua’s only talent. He soon became a skilled leveller.

Bruce knows the secret recipe.

George has done this before.

Jennifer great at spreading smoothly.

Susan can get it done.

After lunch we started making cement to get the verandah completed by the end of the work day. It was really great to see that EVERYONE knew what to do for a bucket brigade. We fell into line and started to pass the buckets of cement. Podi the level man, eyed it up so that it would be just right.

Pop singing leveller.

Bucket brigade gets ‘er done.

And the walkway is done.

Happiness all round.

The workers were so generous with their time to make sure we learned to do everything and in the end we became a great team working together to accomplish a lot. Even the little guy helped us shovel and then moved all of our chairs in when the rain started.

It was very special to meet Adeesha and his close friend Danuka. We had brought some small planes and put them together for the boys to play with. Adeesha threw his so far. His smile makes all the work worthwhile. Another great day.

Thanks to our contributors Julie and Coleen

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