Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Faces of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, one of my top 5 countries that I have the opportunity to visit and a big reason for this was the people. Almost everyone welcomed me with a smile and many of them asked me for a photo instead of the other way around.

Very nice lady, her husband and her entire family invited me in to their home for dinner two nights in a row. There are 9 people living in a hut opposite the tsunami cemetery. Despite the location they seemed like very happy and genuine people.

The sister of the first lady and it took me three days to get her picture, had to use the charm.

Same guy who helped me put up a photo in his neighbourhood.

Mother and Daughter

Despite the mean muggin, she was a very nice lady who provided me with daily breakfast on the tracks. The basket was impossible for me to pick up, lots a respect for the daily hustle.

Sri Lankan Fro

The Golden Pirate

Drinks at high noon. By this time, my friend here was well into the sauce and was telling many a story.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Saskatchewan to Sri Lanka

I wanted to paste these photos in locations that displayed a sharp contrast between the pristine landscapes of Saskatchewan and the gritty streets of Sri Lanka. The first photo was pasted in the former Tamil Tiger stronghold of Jaffna, which is bombed out and still shows the effects of 30 years of civil war.

Ripped up my shirt to move the razor sharp wire, but was needed to capture the entire scene.

I pasted this photo in the early hours of the morning when most of these men were coming back from their nightly fishing expeditions. They were a friendly bunch and it came as a surprise when I returned later in the day to grab a better photo and my photo was gone.

When I showed back up, the crew could sense my disappointment that the photo was gone. I understand thats part of the game and I was about to leave when they called me back over and told me to follow them. They took me to where they keep the holy objects for the temple next door. Inside was the peacock, picture of the Gods and my photo. Very humbling experience.

Located in the slums of Colombo and across the tracks from where I taught a class, I found this wall which was one of the few that remained standing in the neighbourhood.

I saw this building from a far and thought that the bullet holes and dilapidated walls were an unique setting and would enhance the photograph. Turns out the building was some kind of police barracks where the cops live, sleep and shower while on duty. The chief of the unit gave me a hand.

Back streets of Colombo

This guy stayed here for a good 15 minutes sipping on his coffee and checking out the work.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Homeschool x 25: The Tsunami School

Located near Uppuvelli and set back 40 meters from the beach, I stumbled upon this school on my daily walk down the white sands in the early hours of the morning. The school was completely destroyed by the 2004 tsunami and rebuilt. I asked if I could teach a class there and they kindly invited me in.

Thanks to a generous donation by my man Kelly Rapko that allowed this class to happen.

This is a pic of the main alleyway that many of the children have to walk through each morning. Right before this alley is the tsunami cemetery, a harsh reminder of the destruction that took place in 2004.

The gates to the school

A view from the third floor of the school and the ocean in sight.

Rebuilt with help from the Norwegians. Maybe instead of a 16 billion dollar fighter jet purchase, the Canadian government could help out a bit more abroad, or even better, give more financial assistance to educational programs at home.

Inside the school. Every time I walked in the kids would stand up until I asked them to sit down.

The classroom teacher trying her hand at some of the art.

I pretty sure that she had the most fun out of the entire class

The teachers were very friendly and outgoing. The principal seemed like a dude not to mess with (centre)

Kit kat? Not in Sri Lanka, the kids wanted Chit-Chat and gel candies. They got a sack full of both.

The class. I had a lot of fun and it was a nice way to spend a Sri Lankan afternoon.