Visitors since January 2005: 965365

Phase 49: October to December 2011

Dilani has made herself look pretty, because today is her 10th birthday and she is allowed to skip a few classes and instead visit Lokuthatha in the main building - just like all the other birthday children. She is especially interested in the three kittens Michael Kreitmeir one morning found under his bed.
October 3 was a very special day – after almost 10 years Herrmann-Josef Kreitmeir visited the children’s village again. At the main gate he was warmly welcomed by his son Michael and all the children and employees.
After more than two years building time the international school in Kalmunai could finally be handed over to the sisters of the Carmelite convent. There were lots of problems to be solved during that building period – the construction manager abandoned the site, and in August 2010 Michael Kreitmeir was arrested on his way back from a control visit at the construction site. But nothing could prevent the director of Little Smile from keeping the promise he had made to the nuns and finish the building.
On October 5, the 4th anniversary of his mother’s death, Michael Kreitmeir and his father opened the Maria-Theresia College –an international school in Kalmunai. It was one of the highlights of Hermann-Josef Kreitmeir’s visit.
Partial victory in Pilane near Galle: At the end of October construction had progressed so far that the workers could celebrate the topping-out ceremony of the big traditional meeting hall. With this unique building approximately an 80% of all the construction work at the cultural and meeting centre is completed.
Not a single nail was used to build this monumental wooden roof. The main problem was to find master carpenters and woodcarvers, who know all the traditional techniques and styles to show in this roof all the building periods of Sri Lanka’s great past.
Perfect timing! Officially the raining season starts on October 15th, and precisely one day before the sky opens its water gates after a month-long drought. Rainy season is planting season, and therefore the rain breaks on the farm in Dikkapitia are used to plant tea, cinnamon and pepper.
It’s Welli’s birthday, and of course she celebrates it with her best friend Niroshani and her sister Radika. And because the white cat with the black patches on the face has the same name – Welli – she is part of the little party too.
The family of our child minder Saradha is suffering again and again. After the murder of her brother, the death of her father and a brother-in-law, the husband of her youngest sister suddenly died in November and left the 30-year old woman behind with 5 children.
Many of the former members of the children’s village stay in touch with us – some of them drop in, some make their way outside and others seem to be unable to escape their destiny, just as Walliamma. After her training here at the children’s village we even found her a husband and paid the wedding. But Walli ran away with another man, who has long since abandoned her and their child. We have taken her from the street again and built a little hut for her. Once a month she comes to the children’s village, gets some money and have the child examined. Here she meets Niroshani who was her friend once. I wonder what Niroshani will make out of the life?
There is nothing more interesting for boys over 12 years of age than motorbikes. And because Lokuthatha apparently has the only BMW 800 in the country, they carefully watch whenever repairs are necessary – as happened here with the starter.
Finally, there is no funeral, but a wedding. It’s the wedding of our accountant Asela, and we have come to Bandarawella to wish the young couple good luck (from the left: Shiran, Silva, Suramiya, Bawani and Mangala).
Counted together, Nadeeka and Rangika have been living here for 17 years now, so it’s no wonder they have long since become little ladies, who will have their final school exams next year. And since it’s not healthy to only sit and learn the whole day, we have our sport- and leisure times in between.
November usually is the time for a small mango harvest. Some of the trees carry fruits this month, and to avoid that they are harvested by monkeys or neighbors, our boys from Hilltop and Bawani have gone to Buttala and picked more than 3000 mangoes. And thus the next days we will spend making mango jam.