My partner and I, both octogenarians , 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 twelve 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 have run, for the past six years, a paying guest operation that has received high praise from every single person who has enjoyed our hospitality.
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, not using any artificial preservatives. Our major priority is making a small vanilla plantation commercially viable.
We are also focused on providing a better livelihood and skills to local, village residents - primarily women - who would otherwise lead poverty-stricken lives.
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.
Given the informal nature of our paying-guest and agricultural operation, cultural sensitivity and a readiness to help and ability to work flexible hours at a variety of tasks is essential for any Workawayer who wishes to spend time with us.
We are located approximately 25 Kms from Kandy (the capital of the Central Province) and Kurunegala (the capital of the North-Western Province) on the A10 highway. The road to HPH is approximately 2 kms, is motorable but is not served by public transport except for three-wheel tuk-tuks.
Inquiries from any interested person would be welcome
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Helping with Tourists
Help with Computers / internet
Workawayers will benefit from exposure to local, rural residents as well as guests from several parts of the world engaged in a variety of professions.
There are 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.
At the current time, computer accounting skills are a priority.
Readiness to participate in the cultivation, harvesting and curing of spice crops is essential.
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
One of the bedrooms in the house with a private bath/toilet will be at the disposal of the volunteer(s)
Sri Lanka has a rich, ancient, cultural heritage and some of the more important UN Heritage sights such as Kandy which contains the single most important place of worship for Buddhists are within close proximity of HPH. A combination of three-wheel (tuk-tuk) and public or private transport may be utilised to reach any part of the island.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week