My partner and I, both septuagenarians, operate a Home-stay in the mid-country of Sri Lanka in the home that my family has occupied from the 19th century. I have been back in the land of my birth for the past ten years having left at the age of 35 to spend 30+ years in Western Canada, primarily in social and community development work with aboriginal people, immigrants and refugees, in both urban and rural settings and working as a political organizer.
My partner has worked in senior executive positions in urban Sri Lanka for half a century and has taken to country life as a duck would to water!
We are in the process of rehabilitating plantation land which carries cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper, coffee and a wide variety of tropical fruits. We have also set up a cottage-type preserving and bottling operation for the retail sale of the jams, jellies and preserves that we make from the fruit that we grow. Our current priority is on making a small vanilla plantation commercially viable..
We are particularly focused on providing a better livelihood and skills to local, village residents - primarily women - who live poverty-stricken existences.
Apart from Sinhala, the language of the predominant community in this country, we speak, read and write English fluently and I have written political commentary on a regular basis to print and web publications.
At time of writing, we have not completed living quarters for a volunteer/volunteers and will do so after we get feedback from any interested people so that we can develop appropriate facilities.
Given the informal nature of our paying-guest and agricultural operation, cultural sensitivity and a readiness to helpflexible hours at a variety of tasks is essential.
We are located approximately 25 Kms from Kandy (the capital of the Central Province) and Kurunegala (the capital of the North-Western Province) The approach road to HPH, of approximately 2 kms, is motorable but does not carry public transport unlike the A10 Highway which connects Kandy & Kurunegala.
Inquiries from any interested person would be welcome
Cooking / shopping
Helping with Tourists
Any volunteers will benefit from exposure to local, rural residents as well as guests from several parts of the world engaged in a variety of professions.
While the food is cooked by local staff with knowledge of local cuisine, that staff would welcome help from any volunteer interested in the preparation of local food and exhibit an interest to learn.
There are also a variety of odd jobs to be performed in and around the house and while trade skills are not expected, a readiness to help is a necessity.
In terms of the spice crops we are seeking to rehabilitate and restore, any volunteer living with us should be prepared to assist.
While we do not expect any volunteer to bring a skill set that can cope with everything we seek to do, flexibility is a prerequisite for anyone wishing to volunteer here.
English and Sinhala
We have a variety of space, both in the main house and in adjacent buildings and will develop it in accordance with what we perceive as required by volunteers who wish to help us.
Sri Lanka has a rich, ancient cultural heritage and while some of the more important UN Heritage sights - Kandy in particular - are within relatively easy reach, there is a significant variety of Buddhist temples and other fascinating places to visit from here.
My own political orientation is in the direction of social democracy and I worked for Canada's New Democratic Party for a significant part of the time I spent in Canada, running election campaigns at the Provincial, Territorial and Federal levels up to the time I left Canada.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week