Post by Mai
I have the details of my homestay family, and what the living arrangments are for the three weeks I am there. The home I am staying in is approximately 2 km from the Horana Government Hospital and about 26 miles from Columbo. For those who are unfamiliar, Columbo is the major city in the Western Province. There are two types of hospitals in Sri Lanka, government Hospitals and private. As you might imagine, the private hospitals are the more advanced hospitals that you would prefer to go if you are ever there and have an urgent need.
Our coordinator, Thami (pronounced Tommy), has been great with helping to make sure everything is in order before we leave the US and once we arrive in Sri Lanka. I don't think I could do this without the help of someone locally in the locations. Thami has arranged for us to be picked up at the airport, taken to our homestay and orientation of sorts to make sure we have a solid understanding of the local culture. On day two we will spend it at the government hospital for training on how they suggest we treat different ailments we will come across in the orphanages and local clinics that we are setting up.
The good news is the living arrangements in the homestay are seemingly better than Ghana last summer. I didn't mind the living arrangements in Ghana at all, in fact, I loved it. It was so different and minimal, yet it worked. Obviously, bucket showers are not ideal, however it didn't stop us from being able to help so many people.
Back to the homestay. The family we are staying with have two children, and the mum is a housewife. Their son is seven and daughter is four so it will be nice to see how a typical Sri Lankan family live. For those of you who remember the story from Ghana, there was a little girl in the house I was staying in who kept stealing my toothbrush. This time I will bring a few extras with me just in case! The area where I am staying is a bit more populated, so I can walk to the pharmacy if I need another one.
Fortunately, I don't need to get additional vaccines this time since I did the two-year vaccine for typhoid fever and there is little risk of malaria in Sri Lanka. The most significant prep is going to be organizing the medical supplies over the next week.