Week Without Walls 2019: Jaffna

For my first and final WWW, I chose to go to Jaffna and Anuradhapura. I made this choice because of my interest in History. Also, being an Indian and having seen one side of the effects of the War, I wanted to witness the other side and see how it is different in both the places.

Day 1

We started our journey at 4:45 am from OSC and took a train to Jaffna which was scheduled to leave at around 5:45 am. The train ride was fun- most of us were catching up on our sleep for a while and after that, we started talking to each other and bonding over similar interests and inside jokes. We reached Jaffna at around 12:30pm and went to our hotel to unpack and have lunch. After that, we visited a Hindu Temple and Point Pedro.

Picture Credits: Qingjie Zeng
At Point Pedro (Picture Credits: Satwik Nayak)

In the evening, we had to visit the SOS Village and meet the children but unfortunately, we were late and according to their policies, we couldn’t see or talk the children. However, we could meet the boys from the Youth Village. Talking to them about their lives was a learning experience in itself.

Day 2

l woke up super energetic and ready for the day. We started off with a ferry ride to the other side to visit a Buddhist Temple and a Hindu Temple. This really taught me about the religious aspect of the place. Jaffna is very much like South India and people there mostly speak Tamil and follow Hinduism. This was the Temple we visited.

Picture Credits: Satwik Nayak

After lunch, we visited the SOS village again and got to spend a lot of time with the kids this time. We played with them, talked to them- just spent the time trying to understand their lives post war and it was inspiring to see them smiling and just being kids. Seemed like the SOS Village has really given them an opportunity to grow as people, despite of their past.

 

Day 3

We spent this day traveling to Anuradhapura in our bus. On our way, we stopped at the War Memorials and I took this opportunity to explore the effects of the war on Jaffna. It was very different from what I saw in India and that was intriguing.

Picture Credits: Satwik Nayak

 

Picture Credits: Satwik Nayak

When we reached Anuradhapura, we went to the SOS Village and this time, we were on time 🙂 All of us really took this time to bond with the kids and play with them. It was very exhausting by the end of the day but it was all worth it.

 

Day 4

We visited a Buddhist temple in Anuradhapura and IT WAS BEAUTIFUL.

Picture Credits: Satwik Nayak

In the afternoon, after lunch, we visited the SOS Village once again and played, talked and had fun with the kids. As we were going, we gave them some supplies, clothes, drinks and chocolates.

 

Day 5

“Last dayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy, ugh”

-Anouk

The bus ride back to OSC was when I was reflecting on the whole trip and realized how much I’ve learnt and grown as a person throughout this trip. It taught me many life lessons. My curiosity regarding the condition of post-War Jaffna was addressed and just being there with the kids, feeling like a responsible young adult made me feel really good. I would definitely do it again, if I had the chance.

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