This post is brought to you by Haya Abu Issa, a Qatar Academy Doha Student and one of the QA Action members who participated in the service trip to Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka was one of the best experiences of my life. It was a mix of travelling to a new country, being with my closest friends, beautiful scenery, and most importantly, helping a community and get the chance to be a part of it.
Regardless of the long road trips from one area to another and the burning hot weather, every minute of the trip was enjoyed. The first day we went to see elephants directly from the airport, a lot of us without sleep. Then for the next few days we were travelling from one city to another, visiting a spice farm, the Temple of the Tooth, and other places.
However, the best few days of the trip were the ones spent in Eravur. It was an incredible experience driving into the school, where we were greeted by students that put garlands around our necks. The smiles on their faces were beautiful. Everyone was so happy to see us and that is when it hit me. It hit me that our team has changed this community for the better.
Wherever we drove, everyone would be waiting outside their houses just to wave at our bus. We felt like celebrities and it was such a humbling experience. We were extremely lucky to be given the chance to even have dinner at some of these houses! For 4 days, our team was divided into smaller groups and each group was sent to a students’ lovely home to have delicious traditional Sri Lankan food. Of course, everyday we left their houses stuffed, but grateful.
Not to forget the fact that we got to teach the students a class. This year we also raised money for a cricket net and a cricket court for the community, and were given the chance to play cricket in the refreshing rain.
I will never forget this trip and I hope to visit Eravur in the near future and to stay in touch with everyone.