* Between The Sea (the Med) and The Alps -- {Pronounce: ontruh la mair eh lay zalp}

Friday, January 30, 2015

Small town humanitarian aid

Tsunami 01The first time I remember ever hearing the word tsunami was with the Indian Ocean earthquake of 2004, now ten years ago.  (The day it happened was also our very first visit to our current church.)  It ended up being the deadliest tsunami in recorded history.

Our little village created a humanitarian relief organization, and we just had an exposition to show the results.  I thought you might enjoy seeing humanity at work all over the world.

Sometimes I end up missing some interesting details due to language comprehension (as in lack of), so I'm not quite sure just how this whole situation came about.  I believe that there were some locals involved in this particular town in Sri Lanka, and they were quite touched by the devastation.  So perhaps they helped organize the relief work, but at least the whole village became involved.

Tsunami 02
Construction under way
One of the ways our community helped was in selling artwork to raise money.  Our village has a monthly art exposition by various local artists, and one of the artists did a whole series of paintings.  I remember them being shown at the time, and now the remaining ones were just presented again on the tenth anniversary with an exposition of the work accomplished with the money.

Tsunami 03
And now, time for class!

There was a specific project, and that was of rebuilding a school.  A number of locals went to visit this village in Sri Lanka, called Hambantota, but I don't know what all the participation involved. 

However, the effort was a success, and now there is a new school for some of the remaining children (many were unfortunately lost).

As an aside, I was really saddened by this Wikipedia entry on the town.  (Perhaps there is something I'm missing, but it seems pretty clear.)  I now feel even more pride in the accomplishments of our local village for the real inhabitants of this devastated town. 

Sri Lanka has commenced construction of an exclusive entertainment island in the southern Hambantota coast and it will be constructed with rock and soil unearthed from the second phase of the construction of the seaport.The man-made island with an extent of about 48 hectares would be established in Hambantota in close proximity to the Magam Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa port.The new island would be an entertainment arena only and as a result entry would be exclusive to foreigners and Locals will only be permitted entry only on special permits.

Tsunami 04
Not a surfer's wave

A fun activity we enjoying going to is the monthly vernissage (another new word I only learned down here), the opening of the monthly exposition.  I did not take my camera to this last one, but I was back in the same place later and took a few photos then. 

One of the paintings was turned into a poster, also as a fund raiser.  For those of us at this last vernissage, we were given one for free.  My copy is personally signed by the artist to me, a nice souvenir of our life here.  I think this is a lovely painting just on its own, but it is representing a typical hat in the waves being all that is left from somebody's life.

This grouping reflects the lives of the local population.

Tsunami 07
Life in Sri Lanka

Tsunami 06
Sometimes beautiful nature . . .
Tsunami 05
. . . can be totally devastating

The same artist also did these next two paintings.  I don't know if they didn't sell in the first place or are reproductions (maybe one of each, as they have different dates on them).  I thought they were both really quite nice.  I don't know if the wood pieces come from the town or not, but the 3D effect is quite interesting.

Tsunami 08
From one tragic aspect of life . . .
Tsunami 09
. . . to another, so different yet still tragic

As this was the same artist who created the pencil for the recent Paris massacres, I thought it was really interesting how he took one of his original tsunami paintings and altered it to reflect a totally different tragedy.

Tsunami 11
Any pretext to get together with friends and acquaintances
Tsunami 12
Another galette!

The reason we were back in the town hall was another galette function, this time sponsored by the activities association, which is where our country dance class comes from.  In fact, it was during our class time, but at least that gave us a large participation ratio!  But it's the same basic scenario as the vernissage, and you can see some of the artwork on the walls.

Tsunami 13
All set to indulge
Tsunami 14
The party's over
Unfortunately for us, who prefer the traditional frangipani almond filling, they only served the Provençal brioche style, but it was still a fun occasion to socialize with the locals once again.  (And I still didn't end up with any feve this year!)

So once again, the galette has come and gone for another year, but there will be another vernissage next month; who knows who the artist will be?


  1. It seems like you have a wide variety of amusements. But maybe it is because you have relatively fewer that you make the most of every opportunity. I'm so glad when you take a break from back-breaking manual labor.

  2. Hah! If only that were true. My next post will prove to the contrary my taking manual labor breaks.


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