Hi folks, my apologies for the delay in getting the blog started. We had a day in Colombo to gather all team members & get over any jet lag prior to catching our tour bus up to Kurunegela this morning.
After leaving Colombo right on 7am this morning we arrived in Kurunegela about 2.5 hours later after travelling through the coconut triangle, to a hall full of people who had answered the advertising by the Battaramalla Rotary Club asking for people who needed a prosthetic hand to register for our fitting day.
By the time we left the hall at 2pm we had fitted many of the 58 recipients & trained the others in how to hold & grip items such as a pen, toothbrush, spoon, bag & the correct way to hold onto a car steering wheel or motor bike handle bars.
MG Susil Chandrapala & the members of the Rotary Club are organising for those needing a longer arm prosthetic to be measured & fitted as soon as possible. Once their new prosthetic is made the LN4 hand will be fitted & the recipients will be quick to brush up on their newly acquired skills learned today. Most recipients gave a glowing report on how the new hand would help them in their business or studies or in managing their family lives.
The interpreter duties were very ably carried out by the local Rotaractors & the thank them all for the services & time they volunteered today. Thusa, our guide along with our bus driver & busman also offered their services all day. The Battarmalla Rotarians also gave up their public holiday to enhance the lives of their fellow countryman, woman & children.
After finalising the fitting in Kurunegela we were transported by bus to the Oz Hotel in Kandy for the next two nights. Many stories of the days fitting, training, photography & registration duties were shared late this afternoon over a drink up at the rooftop bar. Tomorrow we will play tourist, visiting some of the local attractions before traveling back towards Colombo on Wednesday to fit LN4 hands to more recipients.
Sincere thanks are sent to all the team members, Rotarians, Rotaractors & also to the recipients & their families for having the courage to come along to see what we were offering on the chance that it may just Make a Difference & Change their Lives. We wish all recipients the very best for the future.
I will finish by including just a few short stories that unfolded as we fitted our first recipients today.
Twenty four year old BGK Priyankara lost his hand using fireworks to chase elephants away from the village. He works in his own tuk tuk repair business near Kandy. He is not married just yet but has a girlfriend. He is the middle child with a brother & sister.”Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the gift of this hand”.
Thirty five year old NBN Premabl lost his hand in a electrical machine. He is married with two small children & is employed as a security officer looking after the elephants at an elephant orphanage.
Mr Samarakoon lost his hand after a canular accident in hospital. He has an older sister & brother & father who come to support him. He is studying computer science & likes video games including shooting games.
Double amputee P G Gunasiri lost his hands in an electrical accident. He is currently selling lotteries but will be able to go back to his electrical work when he gets his new hands (longer arm prosthetics) & he is most thankful.
G M Sudakleim Kumerasaghe is in Grade ten at school & is the 5th top in his grade. He loves cricket. He was with his mother & older sister. His favourite Aussie cricket player is David Warner.
J M K A Jayawardhana is only five years old & was born without a hand.. Her Mum is very happy for her daughter to receive her hand as she will be able to do more things at school & home. She will also look like other children. She loves her clip on koala. Mum said she is a very clever girl who wants to learn English. She is also a good singer & dancer.