lördag 25 februari 2017

Going back to Sweden

Today is the day when we will leave Sri Lanka after 8 inspiring days. We have seen so much, we have learnt many new things, and we have been inspired by teachers and students at RIS. We have a promising future ahead of us when it comes to continuing the collaboration between our schools. This will be a great opportunity and a part of being the best stepping stone for future world citizens. These kind of projects are so important for so many reasons. In order to create a better world for everyone we need to assist our children to connect in the world, because they are our future and will be the ones who can solve problems around climate change, sustainable living habits and world peace. This is so important!

This is not the end of this blog, rather it will continue along our project so everybody can get a chance to see how we do progress in our work. We will set up a detaild plan for the coming years and also work for an exchange beteeen our students and teachers.

A big thank you to Susanne Starkebo, the Englund family and Sandra Wanduragala who made it possible to start the project! Anna Wallin, Mats Vikström, Susanne Almen and me, Johan Filander, feel happy of the outcome of this trip and we look forward to proceeding when we get back home.

torsdag 23 februari 2017

We have met so many fantastic students at the Royal International School in Kurunegala

One of the classrooms in the primary school.  
P.E. outdoors. 
Drawing Roald Dahl's Mr Twit. 
One of the students acted his interpretation of Mr Twit.
He was very skilled and humorous so the class laughed out loud.
Hello to all students at Futuraskolan International Bergtorp! 
One of the classrooms in the secondary school. 
A fun game learning how to compare adjectives. 

A Visit in Kandy

We visited the Ceylon tea museum outside of Kandy.
A miniature building of a tea factory.
The view from the Tea museum. 
Tea plants grow on the hill sides.  
This is Kandy! We found a coffe shop and had some coffee. 
A beautiful lake in Kandy. 
The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic - Buddah's tooth. 
A fountain in Kandy. 
Flowers to honor Buddha. 
We visited a Hindu temple.
There are many Hindu Gods. 
One of the Gods - Ganesha
We also visited a Buddhist temple.  
We had the blessing by a Buddhist monk. 
In the Buddhist temple. 
In front of the Hindu temple. 

onsdag 22 februari 2017

A day filled with meetings, culture and food

Today, it is Wednesday and we visited the primary school and we were guests in classes in the lower levels of education, which means classes in year three and four. Johan's first class visit was English in year three and he arrived a bit early before the teacher arrived to the classroom and he had a chance to speak to the students. As yesterday they were shy at first, but after a few quiestions they talked about countries in Europe and they also talked about one of the student's uncle who lives in Canada. One of the boys had his birthday and he had brought some treats for his classmates so they could celebrate together. When we talked about the weather in Sweden they wanted to change with us, because they love the cold temperatures and the snow and not the sun and the heat like us.

Part two in today's plan was to meet the leaders of the school and some teachers to share and compare our school systems. They were all eager to hear about the Swedish school system in order to see how we do things to find ideas to try to implement in their school. They also wanted some feedback on what we saw in our classroom observations. This was a very rewarding moment for all of us. We connected well with the French teacher and exchanged e-mail addresses.

We had a great Sri Lankan lunch at our hotel. We eat so much good and tasty food here in Sri Lanka. Dishes here are spicy and filled with spices that are a bit different from Swedish food. All dishes are filled with different flavors which makes every meal a pleasure.

In the afternoon we all met to discuss our future project and we could make some important decisions around the topics and when and how to start our project. It seems like we are going to let our students connect already in May this year. We will match our students in groups and they will start contacting each other via e-mails and Skype sessions in order to get acquianted. We are going to write a more detailed project plan and send it to Sri Lanka for response so we work on it together to fit all our needs. We talked about a focus on global warming, recycling, garbage disposal and human values. We ended our formal meeting in a more informal way by having tea and sponge cake and we chatted about a lot of different things until 17.00 when it was time to leave.

We made a quick stop at Selyn to buy a few more things and then we headed to pick up Sandra Wanduragala, the founder of the school, who was taking us on a sightseeing tour. Our first stop was the Elephant rock and a holy place with a huge Buddha statue overlooking the city. We saw the sun set and that was an amzing sight. We also went to tha lake surrounded by a walking trail and we could see Buddha on the rock from a distance. Sandra invited us to a Sri Lankan restaurant and had Hoppers, which is a typical Sri Lankan dish.

This is Buddha inside the statue
A fantastic view overlooking Kurunegala
The Buddha statue on the Elephant rock
Another photo with spectacular view
In respect for this holy sight we took our shoes off

By the lake

A cool tree by the lake

A watermelon juice
Hoppers for dinner


Eating a Sri Lankan dish called Hoppers 
Nicely decorated cakes

Observation day of classes at RIS

Do you have a president?
Tell me about Swedish history?
What is your name, sir?
What is it like in Sweden?
Do you have a king in Sweden?
Do you sleep on ice-beds?
What is the national sport of Sweden?
What is the national flower of Sweden?
What is the name of the king and the prime mininster?
Does your king have any power?

The questions were many when met students at the secondary school on Tuesday. At first the students were very shy, but after some time everybody knew about our visit and why we were visiting and started talking to us and asked so many questions about different topics on Sweden.

tisdag 21 februari 2017

Visiting the fair trade company of Selyn

Our contact person in this project is Sandra Wanduragala who is a laywer, an entrepreneur, and also the managing director of RIS, the Royal International School in Kurunegala. We are so glad to be here and that we received her invitation in order to initiate our project ideas. We have also been friendly greeted by the students, teachers, other staff members and the managment team. Sandra is running her company Selyn which was founded 25 years ago and we had the chance to visit parts of her production line. 

Quoted from Selyn's website: 

"Selyn is Sri Lanka’s only Fair Trade guaranteed Handloom company that engages the traditional Sri Lankan community of Handloom weavers in bringing to you products handmade with 100% cotton and infinite measures of skill and devotion.​"


They dry the yarn like this after dying it. 
Our guide is leading us the way through the plant. 
They have a system for cleaning the water.
The water is almost clear.
At the end of the process.
In the handloom factory where they spin the thread onto cones.
Preparing for weaving.
A madam is weaving.
Selyn uses many bright colors.
Toys from the toy factory. 

Nice cushions.