Post by Ann Marie
Mai called me last night and gave me a quick update before she started her first day. She said she was really tired when they got to Sri Lanka yesterday because she couldn't really sleep on the plane. Mai said her very first impression of Sri Lanka was it looked a lot like Molokai and from the photos she sent, (left picture above) I agree!
As far as the accommodations and the family she is staying with while in Sri Lanka, Mai said they are really nice and the house is nice too. This is very different than what she and the team had in Ghana last summer considering their accommodations were a shack with a roof on top. The Hearts for Hearts team were well aware of the accommodations while volunteering in Ghana ahead of time so the housing in Sri Lanka was a pleasant surprise.
Mai said it's kind of strange because the area is very poverty stricken, which she was anticipating, (middle picture above) but there are a couple nicer houses mixed in. The house the four of the girls are staying is one of the the nicer houses and has more than the basics. Don't misunderstand me, she loved the experience of the living arrangements in Ghana, even the bucket showers, and was anticipating roughly the same situation in Sri Lanka. Mai's goal is to one day work for Medecins Sans Frontiers/Doctors Without Borders so she is clearly OK with these types of living arrangements.
Thami is the coordinator that Mai worked with over this past year for logistics and she was able to get the team a great place to stay for the three weeks they are there. Mai said the house has running water, only cold, and a fan so it's like a regular house. She said Sri Lanka is what she would think that India is like with streets that have no lights or designated lanes and people driving however they can get by.
Todays plan is to go take a look at the Horana Government Hospital and see exactly what they need as far as volunteering and medial supplies. In Sri Lanka there are two types of hospitals, private and government. If you get hurt you definitely don't want to end up in a government hospital because it is not ideal. Even for the insurance we purchased for Mai on this trip ensures she would go to a private hospital if she needed help for some reason. The photo below is of the Horana Government Hospital where they will be tomorrow.