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Phase 15:  August to December 2002

Like COMING HOME again!
At the beginning of August, Birgit Stecher arrived from Munich for her 4th stay in Little Smile, where she once again will live and work for - and with - the children.
Everyone does his or her part:
August means school holidays in Sri Lanka too. So our children have more time to play, but also learn to help out in the garden.
In mid-August, the road to our new property is completed.
This property is located about 2 kilometers from our village. Our new Ayurveda hospital and a guest house will be built next year where now only wild elefants, boars and countless monkey colonies run about.
Gradually, step by step, we are reaching our very important goal: to make Little Smile economically self-sufficient in the next 3 years.
Many of our walls must be checked, repaired or newly supported before the rainy season arrives. We have 4 dayworkers constantly busy with defending our village against the encroaching mountain jungle.
On 29 August, the Little Smile Family and Sami celebrated the 1-year anniversary of our Hindu temple with a traditional Hindu ceremony.Kathrin and Birgit, our two trainees, were also present.
In mid-September, we finished levelling ground for construction of the new Ayurveda hospital.
A building for the bigger children and for guests will also be built here.
After almost 2 months, nearly a third of her planned stay in the village, 19-year-old volunteer Kathrin Pfahler has demonstrated clearly that our trust has been well placed. She not only cares for the children (currently in the house for smaller girls), she also teaches English, music and computer skills.
At the end of September, Anna Steudel starts a 6-month volunteer period in Little Smile, replacing Birgit Stecher, who returns to her studies in Germany.Anna works in the house for boys and will also be busy with cataloguing medicinal herbs and with providing supplemental sewing lessons.
With the start of the rainy season at the beginning of October, all children and staff help with the new planting. Living together, working, laughing, learning, developing steadily the "family feeling" at Little Smile.
At the end of October, Srima is the seventh of our girls to begin a new stage in life. On 31 October, the entire Little Smile family celebrates her transition from teenager to adult. The traditional "first bleeding" ceremony is celebrated in our village, and is free of all fear or feelings of guilt. Everyone rejoices when, at the conclusion of the ceremony, Lucian welcomes Srima as a "big daughter" in the Sunshine House.
Kathrin struggles through the mud to what is left of Gnana's house. On 10 November, heavy rains caused a landslide which destroyed the house of our cook, Gnana. The widow and her children are now homeless, but the Little Smile family will help them.
The rainy season in the tropics frequently means the time for illness.
But thanks not least to preventive efforts with herbs from our Wedemama, the virus epidemics have spared us. Our three little ones, Mali, Bawaani and Madushika (from left to right) have good reason to laugh.
Under the expert supervision of the agricultural representative for our region, our children are planting the first 100 orange trees are planted in Little Smile in end-November. The plantings of the new cinnamon fields, and the teak and mahogany trees, has been completed. The rain should help the plants to grow well.
With some difficulties, because of heavy rain, end of October we can finish the roof of the new house for staff in top of our vegetable land. In future, also German volunteers can live here.
Time is passing by fast!
Only a few weeks after Srima, Nadeeka has her first bleeding. On the 27th of November we all celebrating her ceremony in Little Smile with a smile.
The picture shows the ritual washing in the morning, done by Indrani and Chitra.
An early Christmas present:
Our Tamil worker Chutti and his family get a homeplace to live in the jungle area of our new land.
End of the year the fence around the land down our temples, we bought in summer, can be finished.
In this land, except the splaying field, we will plant different vegetables and rice, to make Little Smile independent from buying food, one day.
Waliama, our Christmas Child 2002
In mid-December, Michael Kreitmeir brings 12-year-old Waliama to Little Smile. She was suffering unimaginable pain after severe burns, and was wasting away in a slum. We will spend five long months fighting for the life and health of this child who can barely speak and whose life until now has been nothing but suffering.
On Christmas Day, we have our first Holy Mass at our wooden cross, directly next to the Buddhist and Hindu temples. As with the celebration of major holidays of the other religions, all the children, staff and guests celebrated together.