Global Hope: A students journey

3/8/18

Hey! My name is Olly and I have just graduated from Liverpool Hope this year with a First in Computer Science.

I’m currently on my way to Sri Lanka for 3 weeks on a Global Hope trip. We will be working and living in the SOS children’s village in Nuwara Eliya. Then, after that, my mate Faye and I are off to Goa in India for a chilled holiday before going back to work in September. There are 17 of us flying out from Manchester to Sri Lanka, via Dubai (buzzing to see that airport)!

We are currently at Manchester Airport waiting to board the first plane. Super excited to see what an Emirates aeroplane is like and for the free bar on-board haha!

This is my first time over in the East and away from my life of luxury back home in Liverpool. So stay tuned for the truth about a Global Hope project and what it’s really like.

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4/8/18

Helloooo! We’ve arrived in Sri Lanka airport today and we had the LONGEST and scariest bus journey of my life to the SOS village. The roads in Sri Lanka are just as they appear on films… #CRAZYDRIVERS!

Five of the girls including Faye have left for Jaffna, where they will work at the SOS project up there. It’s an even longer day ahead for them, because it’s a further 8 hours travelling to their camp.

The boys have alternative accommodation off the village and the girls are in the headmaster’s house on the little campus. It’s super late here now and we’re all tired and hungry so straight to bed. Night 😉

olly 2

5/8/18

Well, last night was an experience to say the least!

Nuwara Eliya is extremely high in the mountains, 1,868m elevation to be precise! To put that in perspective, Liverpool is only 70m above sea level, so we’re pretty much in the sky in Sri Lanka haha!

Anyway, because we are so high up everything is damp… the beds, the toilet roll, everything. The accommodation is basic, but the staff are super helpful and kind. We had a little fury friend join us in the night and it spooked us all! Not the best situation but hey ho, when in Sri Lanka…

We also met our ‘families’ (SOS children’s villages are orphanages that put the children into man-made families on a little campus) today, which was super cute. I’m partnered up with Simone and working with houses 1 and 2, everything went well today.

As expected, every meal is a curry of some sort but it’s been good so far.

Back at the accommodation I’m sharing a room with Matt and we have lucked out (using that term extremely lightly) with double beds. The rest of the lads (Harry, Sam, George & Greg) are in the other room across the hall.

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6/8/16

The little friend came again last night…. not a fan of that lol! Hopefully we can get it sorted.

Been in the village again today and properly started teaching and getting to know the kids. We have the 2 youngest house ages in the village, so it’s kind of cute having the younger ones but at the same time super hard work! In the mornings we teach from 10am till noon and then again from 2pm till 4pm. After that we are free to explore. Today we went to the town centre to see what was about and get some more bottled water and snacks. Experimented a bit with food today – tried a local dish of bread, sausage and spicy soup.

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7/8/18

IT’S BALTIC! Come to Sri Lanka they said… it will be humid they said… No, it’s super cold! I spoke to Faye this morning in Jaffna and it is so warm there and here it’s just not. In fact, today at breakfast fog and clouds descended on us and cut the power out.

After breakfast we all went into our allocated Family houses and started teaching. The heavens opened too so we thought of alternative activities that can be done inside.

In the afternoon, we took the kids to the pavilion and we played some games: musical chairs, North East South West, and the good old ‘Hokey Cokey’.

In our free time in the evening, we managed to find a hotel with a pool and fancy restaurant so to unwind after a busy first few days, we all went across to have a swim and a treat meal. It 100% did the trick. I feel rejuvenated!

Who knew that I would find this so hard? It’s a culture shock to say the least. Still loving every second of this experience, and it’s made so much better because of the people I am with.

olly 5

 8/8/18

Rain, Rain and more RAIN! Today we have been well and truly caught in the monsoon season here in Sri Lanka. We are moving hotels tomorrow to one next to the village, hopefully we’ll escape the little friend that keeps joining us in the night’s haha.

Today we started to help the children to craft a letter to their sponsors to thank them. They are all super keen to learn English, so it makes teaching them so much easier and so much more rewarding.

We’ve only been in the village for 3 days and already the progress is amazing! The average day for us here is breakfast at 8am, then stroll down the steepest hill I have ever seen to the village. We have a team meeting then we head to the kids houses to do some English work and to chill, which is followed by dinner prepared by the village and then all afternoon is fun and games! But because of the rain we have had to take the kids into the hall and do the activities inside.

Just think, wet play/break at school… kids EVERYWHERE running and screaming! It sounds awful but it’s so so so much fun, we have been playing loads of mini games and challenges and they all get so competitive.

Then for tea we had some sort of pancake… sounds lush… not so much hahaha, although I have seen the menus for tomorrow and I am excited.

We have really clicked as a group over the last few days and we are all getting along so well, it’s like we have known each other for years. We are so lucky with this team 🙂

Anyways… bed time! Night x

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11/8/18

So we’ve had zero Wi-Fi over the last few days, sorry about that!

We are currently in Arugambay and finally we are experiencing good weather, it’s been so hot today. We arrived late last night and checked in and went straight to bed. The next day we spent all day at the beach and tonight we’re off for a team night out at Whiskey Point. So updates to follow for that

Today was so lush just to sit on the beach and chill. Definitely a well-deserved rest for us all! This afternoon we all tried our hand at surfing. Some better than others haha.

We’re currently sat in Mambos beach bar with a few cocktails getting in the mood… such an amazing place with the sea lapping against the sand and chilled house music with cute little fairy lights. Anyways that’s all from me, chat to you tomorrow with a full report of the night out! Much Love x

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12/8/18

Last day in surfer’s paradise today, sad times! We are traveling back to Nuawra Eliya later on so I have prepared my jumpers ready haha.

Last night was soooo fun!

A day of sun and the beach with a few fresh fruit juices is in order for today. This morning we have been to see a 2000 year old Buddhist temple, it was simply stunning. Its 34 degrees here today so we are all sweating but not one of us is complaining lol!

The bus driver said on the way back we will see the famous elephants crossing and some more famous land sites here in the south of Sri Lanka.

I can’t wait to see the little kids again at the village, it’s gonna be so cute. Anyways over and out for now!

13/8/18

Hey! We are all back at the village and guess what? IT’S RAINING! Although I do feel fresh and so positive.  Some people are struggling a little today with being tired and with the wet and cold but all is still going fine. The beach and sun seems a million miles away haha.

Today for dinner we had onions and fish with fried rice and shredded cabbage (Sri Lankans have cabbage with most meals). Then for tea we had cold pancakes with curried onions and shredded coconuts.

This evening we had a little trip into town and bought some essentials … loo roll, bottled water & chocolate lol. May have also had a cheeky little pub trip  haha.

Tomorrow morning we are going to start writing the letters with the children for their sponsors, thanking them and writing about themselves. They are all super looking forward to it. Check you tomorrow! Bye for now x

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14/8/18

Hello 🙂

Thanks for sticking with this Blog… means a lot!

Today is George’s 25th birthday, so he had a little party this morning with his SOS family.

We then all went to Lovers Leap water fall (for pics see my insta) and then for a buzzing meal at a fancy hotel on the other side of town. I had chicken saag. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL!

It’s still baltic here and super rainy but I feel we are all starting to acclimatise. I’m sure I will be coming down with some sort of trench foot soon though, with how wet my Nikes are!

On a side note if you know anyone who’s got a washing machine and tumble dryer in Sri Lanka, hit me up!

We have just dropped all the girls back at the accommodation and we’re now back at ours with a cheeky G&T and a bar of chocolate.

It’s quite funny as soon as we get back, we grab a drink and spend a good hour on the free Wi-Fi not speaking to one another. Hey ho it’s sometimes our only contact with home that we have. We are 4h30m ahead of UK time here in Sri Lanka, so when we’re having breakfast, you lot are still well in bed asleep.

Tomorrow its Simone’s 21st birthday so I’m gonna make cards with the kids for her in the morning and maybe have a little party in the evening. Anyways that’s me for today. Night pals x

Ps. Happy birthday to my Baby Brother Harry for today too! 🙂

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16/8/18

It’s Mother’s Day in the village today, so no teaching.

This morning we were all invited to a Buddhist & Hindu temple, both were totally different experiences. The Buddhist temple was quiet and had a meditation feel to it and the Hindu temple was very interactive. It was an amazing opportunity to have been invited along.

After that we went back to the village for some lunch… chicken and fried rice. This evening we have had a little tea party with each family in their homes with cake and tea.

We are all out now for a team meeting in the pub aptly named ‘the pub’.

Also thanks to Michaela and Liam for the ongoing support from overseas.

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20/8/18

HELLO!

It’s Monday again. Back to it!

So this weekend we had a little trip to Kandy, one of the big city’s here in Sri Lanka. We traveled by local trains and let me say it was an experience. The toilets were holes straight down to the tracks and the trains themselves were crowded with not enough seats and no doors. It’s a death trap, let me just say that!

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We had a great weekend, there was a Buddhist festival on called Esala Perahera while we were there and it was an amazing experience to witness. Every night for 10 days there is a parade through the streets, it was truly breath-taking.

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While in Kandy we also got to meet up with Savandie, an old friend of mine who attended Hope and now lives back in Sri Lanka, so that was great!

We are all back at the village today and me and Lauren have moved up to the older boys in the youth house. I missed my little family today in the morning, so I am gonna have a shuffle round and see if I can get to see them soon.

In the afternoon we were all in the pavilion again because of the weather. We made a massive family house with all the kids’ names on so when it’s finished I will get a pic uploaded on here.

We noticed that not all of the houses had washing machines, so we made a few enquiries and we have managed to clump enough money together to buy them two new ones. So now four houses out of all of them have washing machines. We are all super happy and all the mothers are excited about them being installed.

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In our free time in the evening I have started catching up on OITNB and I cannot wait for the flight back to finish it haha.

Tomorrow the weather is meant to be getting better… When I say better just hopefully not rain. Tonight’s tea is roti and I’m BUZZING! Anyways here are a few pics from the weekend and today. Much love x

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21/8/18

Here comes the sun… du du du du Here come the sun, and I say, it’s alright … (and so on)

We have a sunny day! Woke up to no rain and no fog. So far so good, hopefully a great day ahead! It’s still far too wet to take the kids outside on the grass but at least I’m not getting wet.

This morning Lauren and I with the boys in the youth house again and the subject we’re teaching is Geography and world flags. So it should be ok. Then I’m going to shoot back down to the village to help Simone with the letters for the children’s sponsors.

We finished house 1 yesterday so just house 2 to go. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some drone footage this afternoon with the better weather too, so fingers crossed.

Funny story last night Sophie woke up screaming and ran out of the room because she had a dream she was being chased by bees. She scared the life out of Shannon and Simone!

It’s going to be sad splitting up from everyone and leaving the kids on Friday, we have all become so close. Anyways I am off to do some work. Catch you tomorrow 🙂

24/8/18

Time to say good bye…

So we have come to the end of the 3 weeks here at SOS Nuwara Eliya – Sri Lanka. We have been super busy preparing our own leaving party for the children. We have bought cake, juice, sweets and crisps. We’ve planned loads of English games like ‘Pass the Parcel’ and ‘Musical Statues’, so hopefully all will go well. We leave this afternoon to Colombo (the capital) for the airport, everyone flies home today but I’m heading to Goa tomorrow. Catch you tomorrow with the outcome of the party! Bye x

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25/8/18

All I have done today is cry!

The party went so well, the kids had a great time and they even came prepared with different variety acts such as singing, dancing and even the drums from all age groups! It was super, cute all the mums came too. It was great to see the whole village get involved.

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We left this morning and it was so emotional; those of you who know me will know that I’m not one for crying over things like this but I’ve become super attached to these adorable children. They gave just as much to our Hope team as we gave to them.

I knew Global Hope would be rewarding but it has really surprised me how much I have taken from it and we have only just left.

I’m off to Goa now for a week, but when I’m back in the UK I’m gonna write a sum up of my Global Hope experiences – so check back next week for my conclusion to this blog!

Thanks so much for following my story! Massive love to my team out here in Sri Lanka and see you guys soon. And for you guys reading come and join my adventures of my life over on my Instagram olly_wc (Selfless Social plug) for now much love over and out x

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