After touring our volunteer programs across Asia, the IVHQ Video Tour zooms in on our final destination – Sri Lanka!
Let’s head behind the scenes and hear from our camera crew on location...
Sunday 24 March
As we arrive in Kandy on a weekend, most of the volunteers are off exploring the beautiful countryside of this enchanting country. Many are out on the coast at one of the golden sand beaches, while others are away hiking in the hills.
We spend the day site seeing around Kandy. Firstly, we visit a wood factory where the local staff demonstrate the process of creating wood crafts, which are popular souvenirs in Sri Lanka. Next, we visit a clothing factory where the women are using the traditional Batik technique to create beautiful dresses and sarongs.
We then head up Bahirawakanda Hill to a Buddhist temple with magnificent views over all of Kandy. Here, we drink tea with one of the monks while he explains the significance and history of the temple. In the afternoon, we take a walk around the lake and visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, which is home to Sri Lanka's most important Buddhist relic – the tooth of Buddha.
In the early evening, we go to watch a popular cultural show, combining traditional Sri Lankan music and dance.
Monday 25 March
This morning, we visit a temple situated up high in one of the hills surrounding Kandy. Two volunteers, both from the UK, are teaching English to the young monks that live here.
Our next visit is to a baby orphanage where three volunteers have just begun working. They help the local staff to nurse, feed and bath the babies. There is also a kindergarten located here where the volunteers can also work, helping the young children learn things like shapes, colours and numbers.
On our drive back to Kandy, we stop off for lunch at a local roadside street food market. Here, we try local specialties such as Aappa (Hoppers), Pani Walalu and a herbal tea drink.
Later in the afternoon, we visit another temple, which is located in Mawilmada very near to the volunteer house. Several of the volunteers have been working here to help the monks restore the temple and today they are beginning to re-paint the walls.
We then walk to the home of a local family where the volunteers are being taught how to cook several traditional dishes. They will help to prepare the entire meal before heading back to the volunteer house for a delicious feast!
Tuesday 26 March
This morning, we take the early train from Kandy down to the south west coast of Sri Lanka. The train ride has to be one of the most spectacular ever! Leaving at 4am means we catch the sunrise, and as the mist rises, the lush jungle and gorgeous blue sky is revealed. Once we pass through Colombo, we catch glimpses of the ocean, the turquoise blue waters glistening in the sun.
Our final destination is Ambalangoda, where the Turtle Conservation Project is based. Volunteers working here assist local staff to protect endangered sea turtles, as well as to rehabilitate turtles that have been harmed by commercial fishing. We arrive right on feeding time, so we get to watch the volunteers feed the turtles their fish for the day. The volunteers undertake a range other jobs here as well, such as cleaning the beach and turtle tanks, releasing turtles back to sea and educating visitors.
Check out the IVHQ Video Tour: Sri Lanka album to see more photos from the tour.
This brings us the to end of the Asia section of the IVHQ Video Tour with seven diverse and beautiful countries visited, many kind and generous hosts met, and many more amazing volunteers interviewed. Thanks to everyone who has been involved! - Kate and Geroge.
Visit the IVHQ YouTube Channel or keep an eye out on the IVHQ Facebook Page to follow the video tour releases!