December 28th, 2007 – by: Devika1985
Day 3 â€“ Negombo â€“ Pinnawela â€“ Negombo
On the third day we had to leave at 6.30 (!!) I was up long before that time actually but it just sounds so bad! I took a shower and went downstairs where Andrew was already waiting for us. After picking up Nel we drove out to Pinnawela wich took us a about 2,5 hours. I filmed a lot on the way there since the scenery was very pretty everywhere. We arrived at Pinnawela where I had also been 10 years ago. It was only a little different from what I remembered but I recognised most areaâ€™s. The Elephant were so cute and what I liked the most was the scenery.
As you can see on the pictures the background wa so dreamy.. The green fields with all the palmtrees and other tropical plants. The river where the elephants took their bath was amazing aswell. So pretty! We watched how the elephants were being fed and how the little elephants were being bottle-fed. After that the herd of elephants was brought to the river for the bathing. First we watched some locals doing their laundry in the river before the elephants arrived.
We found a good spot at the restaurant near the river to see the elephants bath.
We had lunch at the restaurant and watched the elephants play in the water. A very pretty sight! Some baby elephants were playing in the river and putting water on each other.
That was really cute. I really like animals do this was great for me. No chains like in the actual orphanage. Just elephants playing in the water freely.
Women @ work
After about an hour we went back and drove past a little place where they make paper from elephant droppings. Very funny but we couldnâ€™t see that much since we didnâ€™t have permission from the owner. If you want to visit the place you have to contact him first and make an appointment. They are very protective of the method of making the paper they want to keep it a secret. We bought a little book made of elephant droppings. A great way to recycle and very close to the Orphanage so a great source of material nearby.
We drove back to Negombo and bought a King Coconut to drink from on the way back.
You can also see that in the pictures somewhere! It tastes more Neutral then the juice from a regular Coconut I think. I dont really like it but its good if your thirsty. I mean it was nice but I wouldnt choose to drink that if I could also pick some other fruitjuice. We drove to the Welcome Village next. The Welcome Village is a great project. Its a village wich is set up by a Dutch man named Herman Steur. The village is built in Dutch style wich is very funny to see. It gives home to elderly people who are homeless. Itâ€™s really a great place! The people seem very happy and there is a central place where they can have breakfast lunch and dinner, the houses are nice and all the houses have power and water wich is very good for that area. 2/3 people live together in one house and everything is very well arranged for them. People who arenâ€™t able to come to the central place for dinner and such receive their food in the house. There is a small hospital on the grounds and there is also a special house for the demented where they get all the care they need.
Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage
The people are well taken care of and they employees of the village really care about them and their situation. Near the entrance there is a big monument with all the names of the people who passed away. There is a chapel built for funeral services aswell. The village has a lot of employees wich are all Sri Lankan people so thats also very good! It creates workplaces and itâ€™s a good place for the elderly to enjoy (in most cases) the end of their life. Im very glad I got the opportuniy to visit this place. The people were amazing, all so very friendly and nice. Everybody was waving at us and all the people came out of their houses to say hello. They really seemed happy there. There is a little church wich is divided in several parts where everybody can enjoy their own religion. A catholic church ( It amazed me how many catholic churches I saw in Sri Lanka!! I learned that in Negombo a lot of people are catholic wich I really didnâ€™t know, there are 11 churches and they call it little Rome :) ) a Hindu part, a Buddhist part and an Islamic part.
Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage
We found people praying at every side of the temple/church to every different religion. That was very nice and what an example for the rest of the world! The Welcome Village is very much in need of money and they have thought of something very nice to give in return. You can buy land in the village symbolically. You pay 50 euroâ€™s for 1 square meter and you get a very nice certificate of you ownership of the land. You can choose any name you want on the certificate so I had one made for Robin & Me. If you every visit Sri Lanka and have the time you should visit the village. Itâ€™s a great experience and everybody is welcome at any time to see the village. After our visit to the Welcome Village we went back to the hotel. I was exhausted and slept for hours. After dinner I went straight to bed.
Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage - Blind Elephant