University of Ruhuna and Mexican Night

February 26, 2008

Tom – I took pictures at the University of Ruhuna today and have also added some others that were taken during my instructor and student classes.  This is a view after entering the main gate.



Views looking back toward main gate and Indian Ocean



University Buddha


 Athletic (Cricket) Field


Gymnasium and Physical Education Offices






Classroom (locker room) for presentations to Physical Education faculty


Instructing students in weight room


I bought a clock to use for timing on the walking/jogging course we made on university roads


Helen – We had to postpone Mexican night from last night till tonight.  As of yesterday, Luke, from the hotel still hadn’t gotten his list of ingredients: cilantro (coriander leaves), avocados, tortillas (they have an Indian frozen flat bread or a thicker flat bread that they use), ground beef, cheddar cheese (Kraft processed is the closest thing), sour cream (buffalo curd, and not bad).  I made the refried black beans (OK, they were red cow beans, close!!) on Monday and was waiting to add the cilantro, this morning I made the brownies and was going to use Rachael’s (Irish, owns a two room guest house and also does massage) oven.  I had to walk through two yards, up a hill, through a gate and a laundry line of clothes to get to her house just to tell her to warm the oven and that I would be back in about 15 minutes with the brownies.  Walked back to assemble them and then walked back to bake them.  I had to sit there for 25 minutes till they were done, so we had a nice chat.  She is sort of dating a Sri Lankan guy (married) who is also coming to the dinner.  “Babasan” a Japanese fellow will be there as well.  He is here for three months; it is winter in Japan and he teaches swimming to the very young and the old folks.  His English isn’t very good but he is a really nice guy.  His main purpose here is to surf and eat.  He surfs at least twice a day and you wouldn’t believe the food he puts away!! 

I talked to Luke again about his shopping list and to tell him I have to go to school from 2-6:30; dinner is planned for 8:30 and our menu includes beef tacos (we bought the shells and seasoning mix at the PX), black beans/tomato salsa, refried black bean dip, cheese-mushroom-beans-chicken, added quesadillas, chicken enchiladas, plus the toppings.  I got home from work, quickly showered and went over to get the rest of the ingredients to start.  Nicole, Luke’s wife and Rachael were supposed to help with the preparations since they don’t cook!!  Rachael is lying on the couch, she has had a rough day as has Nicole but they will be over shortly to help.  I return and start chopping onions and mushrooms when Rachael comes with frozen ground beef and chicken!!!  There is no microwave oven here!!!   She said Nicole forgot to defrost it.  So I cut it into thin slices and had her watch it over the stove as it defrosted…this is going to be a long night!  The tortillas are thicker but should taste good, so we decide to forgo the enchiladas and double up on the quesadillas (life is easier already!).  Nicole comes over and says no avocados, no cilantro, sorry!!   She started to chop tomatoes but when I gave her the lettuce, she just looked at me and asked how do I chop this…by the time I showed her I had finished it.  She said you make it look so easy!! 

We were going to eat at the hotel since we didn’t have enough room here and they set a lovely table.  We had more than enough food and they seemed to enjoy everything.  We divided the leftovers and went home stuffed!!  Poor Luke couldn’t eat with us because the chef for his hotel had a fish bone in his hand and had to go to the hospital so he had to cook dinner for his guests and then clean the kitchen; he was just finishing as we were leaving…I did give him his brownie in the kitchen for extra energy!!  They don’t really plan ahead so working with them can be a challenge but they are really nice people and I am glad that they are close by!!!  Luke was also planting bushes by his fence for extra privacy.  I don’t think it is going to work because he had soaked the branches (freshly cut) in water for a few hours and now stuck them into the ground and said he was going to water.  The soil is very hard and he didn’t loosen it at all.  I mentioned that maybe he should loosen the soil, soak the branches until they begin to root a little, and perhaps use a little cow manure in the soil.  He said he did it this way before and it should work.  I asked what happened to the shrubs before and he said they died!!  Oh well, maybe he knows something I don’t!!

I wasn’t too anxious to see the walking class today because Kanthi had told Tom that no one showed last Thursday.  While we were away, I had lesson plans and charts for them to fill out after their walks.  Kanthi couldn’t be there on Tuesday and Vini (the PE instructor) was supposed to take that lesson and then Kanthi would do it on Thursday. When I got there and asked Vini what happened on Tuesday, she replied that she had a meeting.  The students said they had come and no one was there so they didn’t bother coming on Thursday either.  Vini has no sense of responsibility and feels insecure.  She doesn’t pay much attention when I am lecturing either.  But she is quick to tell us that she was  a national 400m runner and walker champion when she was 17, even showed us the newspaper clippings.  Now she is 49 and living in the past!!

We had to walk 2.5 miles (they were supposed to walk 2.5 and 3.0 last week) and so now we are behind schedule.  I only have about 3 more lessons with them and don’t know if we will be able to get to 4 miles…sad thing is that I am sure that they will all stop when I go, so it is difficult to see that I will make a difference for them.

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