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|Year and Month||June, 2014|
|Number of Days||Two Day Trip|
|Accommodation||Kohonawala village home|
|Transport||Indika’s van, three wheeler (!! Pushed it more than rode in it).A word on Indika – Highly appreciate his help. We left him at the Modolsima police station for the night and next day he found his way to Urumeetanna and waited for us to turn up. It was difficult for him, but no complaints. Indika is the one who took us to Mukkuwatta of Hapugastenna upper division when we did the Dehenakanda route to Sri Pada.Highly recommend. Very reliable. Reasonable charges.
His number is 0771050908
|Activities||Eye camp …hiking to get there and out!|
|Route||Colombo –> Badulla –> Madolseema –> Kohonawala –> Urumeetanna –> Badulla –> Colombo|
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
Reading Sri’s Report made a few of us think of getting the wheel chair that was needed by the little boy in Kohonawala. With Sri’s help we made contact with the Hamuduruwo to get a bit more information. During the conversation he spoke of many older people who had bad eye sight but were unable not get spectacles. So could we arrange for something to be done about it?
On Poson Poya day a few of us climbed down to Kohonnawala, along with an absolutely fantastic ( more on that later) three member medical team from the Vision 2020 project of the Ministry of Health.
We decided to follow the route taken by Ashan, down, down, down from Modolsima.
And finally, using an ambalama as it is meant to be used: for rest, and food!
Over 3 hours later we reached the village. Not very fast, but we were carrying (with the help of a villager) all the equipment needed for the eye camp including spectacles.
The Champion V2020 – විස්සයි විස්සේ team – entering the village. Dr. Asela Abeydeera, Ms. M.D. Priyangani, Ms. Nisansala Wickramasinghe. This is the team that carried out the eye camp. Such complete dedication, kindness and cheerfulness even when they themselves were dead tired, wanting a meal or a drink. Nothing stopped their work, nor how well they treated every single person who came to the camp. Best team ever!
A bit of a rest in the temple, a bath in the stream, food prepared according to the menu requested by Sri 🙂 and it was time for the Poson Poya pinkama.
The full moon rising over the hills we climbed down and bathing the village in silver light
A special බුද්ධ වන්දනාව සහ පුජාව. According to the Hamuduruwo, Sri, Athula, Prasanna and Tony had helped out with getting the necessary items to make this pinkama possible.
Day 2, and we were up by 5.30 as the eye camp was scheduled to start at 6.30. And yes, the sun had risen by that time!
By the end of the eye camp at Kohonawala, about 45 reading glasses had been provided free, 10 patients had been identified as needing cataract operations. The Vision2020 team will arrange for free surgery and provide the lenses free of charge if we can provide transport for the patients.
The children who were attending the Kohonawala school were screened at the school. This gave us the opportunity to visit the school and meet the young head teacher/principle.
The school was extremely impressive. It was tiny. Just one hall and on the day we visited 13 children were in school. We huffed and puffed up the hill to the school , but there seemed to be no one there. There was total silence. The compound was spotlessly clean and the school looked so well cared for we decided to take a look. And…inside the hall all the students were busily and quietly studying, and the teacher was seated at the desk marking books.
Amazingly, this tiny well maintained school had excellent facilities. A neat and nice play area with swings donated by a group linked to the habour. A tiny computer room with a flat screen computer, dongle based internet connection ( yes, they had read the Lakdasun trip reports on Kohonawala!) and..a sparkling projector – all provided by the government under the development of small schools project.
Back in the village, we visited the little boy for whom we are in the process of getting a wheel chair
Then, packed everything up – with most of the spectacles gone, the load was much less 🙂 and started the walk out of the village. This time we took the route that Sri had taken, it’s a sort of jeep track and ends in the ‘Block Gal Oya’ (Loggal oya), from there we tried to travel in a three wheeler, but ended up pushing it up hill more than travelling in it!!
Finally made it to Urumeethanne…to find the village was waiting expectantly for the eye team – a totally unscheduled eye camp!! Dr. Asela, Ms. Priyangi and Ms. Nissansala did not even pause for a drink of water, despite the exhausting walk they had just done. They immediately got down to business. About 10 more spectacles were provided and 2 cataract cases identified. This is what is called service with a smile.
And, at the end of a very satisfactory day, we opened up the lunch packets that the Kohonawala Hamuduruwo had packed for us, and had it with fresh Kurumba brought to us by the villagers of Urumeethanna.
A very very satisfying trip 🙂 🙂 Thank you to all those who helped make it a success.