Archive: Common

Work and leisure time combined in harmony

(Pictures are published in the German version – Please, press “Deutsch” here on the right side.) In addition to working during the week at Anura College, there are opportunities waiting at the weekend to provide insights, such as the art of woodcarving, a bit different from what you may have seen in the course of the German carpenter training.

That’s in the nature, or better, in the culture of things. An experienced old wood carver, whom his companion visits to give this impression to Christian, demonstrates his way of working and its results. That is what Christian is interested in, and he can discover differences in material, tools and working methods. The master likes to demonstrate his arts and crafts and voluntarily shows his skills to the young visitor.

His companion, the English teacher Wasantha, has planned more for Christian this weekend. Of course, the German gets to know his family, wife and three sons, and together they go to some places, far away from the tourist “sightseeing”. The large rainforest, not so far from the civilization of Matara, lets you experience pure nature with huge trees, rare plants, beautiful flowers and wild, powerful waterfalls. A picnic is prepared, and immediately “sudu uncle” – the white uncle – is involved and is given much more information about flora and fauna. A really impressive experience … .with friendly people who welcomed him and let him into their lives and showed great hospitality.

Master of his trade at Anura College

(Pictures are published in the German version – Please, press “Deutsch” here on the right side.) There have already been lots of visits by friendship-association board members and others, sponsor-parents, young German trainees,…who all contributed to some work and support  when visiting the school. (more information about the association’s activities, see )

Now, it’s Christian, son of sponsor parents, who visited his „scholarship-sister“on the very first day, and the two of them can be seen here in a picture. His trip around the island will have to wait a bit, because, first, he wants to offer his knowledge and abilities as a carpenter and start making some tables, chairs, shelves or more at Manthinda Temple School and Anura College in Matara and perhaps, he can even teach some of the young students to learn about this valuable handicraft.

He finished his training some time ago, which enables him to repair furniture and make new objects. He can even show his skills to young Anura or Manthinda students. That’s a fantastic project that we all admire with appreciation, respect and gratitude.

Differences between Germany and Sri Lanka become soon obvious with regard to the quality of tools (particularly electric saws, drills,…etc.) The Neuwied-Matara-Friendship Association will help with some money to buy important tools and material, and Christian invests lots of time and great effort to achieve useful results.

And – surprise! – In the shopping center he is addressed by a Singhalese woman who asks him where he comes from. And when he said “from Germany! I’m working at Anura College, Matara” the next question was: ”Do you know Mrs. Pinger?”…and it became obvious that she knows about this association and that she is a close friend, a bank assistant, who helped in recent years with business questions. Nice coincidence…and a selfie, of course, to prove what happened.

We are looking forward to good handicraft-objects, and we wish Christian lots of success, patience, calmness and a quiet manner with regard to local standards of quality, safety arrangements, sense of perfection and tools, which might differ from German standards. So, it’s a Srilankan standard, particularly for young monks, to work barefoot and be careful with splinters of wood, nails or even dangerous tacks on the floor. Lord Buddha will hopefully bless and protect them!

That is definitely an unforgettable experience – and Anura College will be happy about new tables, chairs, shelves,… and much more. Bohome istuti, Christian!


17th journey to Matara, Sri Lanka – Diary from 3rd – 23rd of July 2018

I’m sorry that I could not give daily reports when I spent this exciting time in Sri Lanka. So, here you find the entire diary. Pictures have been added to the German version. Please, press button “Deutsch” ( = German) here on the right side. Thanks for reading and appreciating our work and projects in Matara. Edeltrud Pinger, vice president of Neuwied-Matara-Friendship-Association.

July 3rd, 2018

Landing of Qatar Air in Colombo. But I’m the only one of the three of us in that aircraft, whereas the other two companions have to take a different plane some hours later – different travel agencies = different planes. That means: one transfer at night time and arrival at about 7.30 a.m. in Mirissa and the second one, along with a wonderful sunrise on the coast line, three and a half hours later. Impressed by that gorgeous scenery, they even forget to take a picture. So, let’s have a look at the impressive beach, still decorated by a German flag, ignoring the painful result for Germans in the World Championship! – ? But it turns out to be the yellow-red sea-watch-flag and a dark branch on top causing this optical illusion. (more…)

Journey No. 17 – Off for Sri Lanka again!

20180630_125020 All my bags are packed and the next journey will start tomorrow morning. Clothes are not that heavy, but all those little parcels with gifts for scholarship students handed over to me by their German godparents. These gifts are meant to 20180626_185241 be small, thin, not heavy,…but when there are about 25 of them, it’s quite a lot of kilos. Besides, there are those advertising specialties offered by V+R Bank Neuwied-Linz and Mrs. Seibt who is running a stationary’s shop and always donates some very nice bits and pieces, such like pens, rulers, erasers, etc. Students of Anura College will be very happy about these little gifts, because these are things they usually cannot afford. (more…)

Dance and media

(Please, see pictures in German version, pressing the button on the right side -> Deutsch)

There were two generous donations from Neuwied-Matara Friendship Association in June 2018. First, look at the new costumes for Anura dancing group with teacher Mrs. Lakshmi who trained the girls with effort and great energy. So, they were able to achieve a remarkable result and victory. The new costumes will certainly mean even more motivation for coming events.

Second, now Anura Vidyalaya can use a new projector, tablet and loudspeakers that were donated by German friends. It’s important for the school to have good equipment and use modern media. With regard to 125th aniversary, there will be celebrations and ceremonies, in the course of which the new devices will be particularly helpful. In the hot and humid climate, they must be well looked after and treated with care.

Big thanks go to all donors.

Obituary for a helpful friend – Swarna Navarathna

p1000895 With great sadness we have to say good bye to Mrs. Swarna, sister of our manager Mr. Sagara Abegunewardene, and dear wife of our former Srilankan coordinator Mr. S. B. Navarathna. The picture was taken in the year 2012 in their house where Mrs. Swarna and her husband used to welcome guests from Germany who were visiting project schools in Matara. Mrs. Swarna always enjoyed inviting us to have lunch, tea and cake at their place and showed particular hospitality. (here: Mrs. Swarna, her husband, Mr. Sagara and vice president Mrs. Pinger)

We will keep her in mind with great appreciation and wish – with regard to her Buddhist belief – Nibbhana! May her husband and her sons feel comfort when thinking of her with love and thankfulness and may she rest in peace!

Good bye, Anna – we will miss you!

(See corresponding pictures in German version – Press “Deutsch” here on the right side.)

Last day for Anna at Anura College. What a pity! It’s so sad. Time flies.
Yesterday Anny could watch theory lessons in the dance and music room, but today a group of girls is demonstrating the art of dancing in a very impressive way. Fantastic! Those girls start early when they are talented and go on learning a lot, dancing in groups in traditional ceremonies, on weddings or other festivities. So, regular training and practical exercises are necessary, and it’s a big advantage to have excellent teachers. Anna wants to try and learn some steps and movements. Not that easy, when you are used to disco-fox, hip-hop, etc. But it is great fun, and anyway, Anna has a real sense of music and rhythm. (more…)

Multisided school life and big variety of facilities

(Please, find the corresponding pictures in the German version – press button on the right -> “Deutsch”

After finishing German classes, our German trainee Anna also enjoys getting insight into various activities at Anura College. The pictures published here may give you some impressions of school life. First step: designing and colouring table cloth in the home science room with the help of home science teacher Mrs. Tekla.

  • Small groups studying in the science room together with their teacher, probably preparing A-level-exams in chemistry that will take place in August.
  • Dancers studying in the music- and dance-room, not dancing actively but gaining some theoretical knowledge about rhythm and beat that can be put into graphs on the board by their dancing master. This music- and dance room has a wonderful big mirror which might not be so common in most schools.
  • Isha, coordinating teacher and looking after our scholarship students (together with Mr. Wasantha) takes a little rest in the staff room.
  • In front of the Pre-school, there is still some decoration left from the Vesakh-ceremonies that took place some time ago, one of the most important days for Buddhists.
  • Inside the pre-school-classroom, young children are studying with joy and ambition. Good teachers applying the educational theory of Montessori and useful teaching material are the best preparation to succeed in Primary School later.
  • German lessons in the library: a lot of students take part and are proud to learn another foreign language apart from English that might be as difficult for them as Singhalese language will be for us. Actually, it’s fun!

German lessons: talking about clothes and colours

img-20180514-wa0001 Anna likes teaching a lot. And her students like her and are very active when reading, repeating, speaking German.

What’s on the agenda today? Introducing oneself, some numbers and colours. Useful items to make up some short dialogues, giving colours to different objects and clothes. Even different shades of blue, light blue and dark blue, can be applied. Well, school uniforms are all quite the same. But there are good ideas and imagination, and colours can be given to lots of other things. (more…)

German lessons to be continued – with Anna!

img-20180511-wa0001 There are curious incidences from time to time. A friend of our association is looking for a traineeship for a friend of hers, possibly at a school in Sri Lanka. The young lady Anna has just passed her A-Levels successfully and is going to travel around the world. Why not start in Sri Lanka? First stop in Weligama. One of her friends has organized a booking at a guest house where she will stay during the first days. What’s app-messages help to contact members of the Neuwied-Matara-friendship-Association and teachers at Anura College, and there is Ridmi who spent three months in Germany end of last year. She can accompany Anna to her former school and introduce her….No problem, they agree, and Anna can start!