Dear readers of the YOGI TEA® Blog,
My name is Georg and I am the Purchasing Manager for YOGI TEA®. A very important part of my job is to travel around the world visiting the farmers whom are cultivating our organic ingredients. My last visit to Sri Lanka - a country that inhabits a few of our ingredients like black pepper and cloves - was very special. As you learned here, our Christmas Tea is dedicated to a wonderful educational project in the Medadumbara District of Sri Lanka. If you are curious to know where this is, take a look on the map here. During this travel I had the great luck to attend the inauguration of the scholarship fund in Teldeniya. It was such truly a wonderful and memorable experience and I am very happy to share a part of my travel diary and some pictures I took with my camera. Enjoy!
19.12.2015- Upon arrival in Teldeniya, we were greeted by a traditional dancing duo. This dance has been an essential part at the start of any project in the area for over 250 years. The dancers walked us to the house of Mr. Kiri Banda, head of the local cooperative, where the ceremony was held. There we started with the lighting of the oil lamp, where all the guests and community leaders light one of the many parts of the lamp – I had the distinct honor of going first. This ceremony wishes well at every new beginning in Sri Lanka.
After that we started handing over the presents to the 15 recipients of the funds one by one. The presents consisted of everything the children need for the school year (books, notebooks, pens, pencils, etc.) and also something to play with. Of course, the children were all thrilled about the gifts and school materials they received. It was wonderful witnessing that level of excitement about such comparatively simple gifts and what they obviously meant to the children and community. I wouldn’t dare call myself an expert on kids, but I’d venture to say that some school books and an umbrella wouldn’t exactly generate a whole lot of excitement in most children in our culture these days. It’s a good thing to see because it does add a lot of perspective, even for grown-ups.
After the hand-over of the gifts we had a big Singhalese lunch, which the wife of the owner of the house had been cooking for since 5:00 am, and I had a lot of fun eating it in the traditional–way: just bare hands!
Overall, it was a wonderful experience to join this event on behalf of YOGI TEA. Thinking of the joy we were able to give these children still brings a smile to my face as I am sitting in the office today. I sincerely hope we continue on this course and keep expanding this project to spread this level of joy for many years to come.
PS: I let some of the children play with my smartphone - as you can imagine smartphones are still pretty unusual for locals there. When they gave it back to me I was very happy to find this selfie in my gallery.
You can find more information about the educational project Medadumbara here.