Internship Summer 2018: Sri Lanka
With photos and words from Madi Graham, one of our Internship leaders, we get an inside look at the impact of this Summer Internship team’s outreach to our base in Sri Lanka. As this was our second international Summer Internship outreach, it’s compelling to see the beautiful photos and hear powerful stories of how our team connected with the people of Aragum Bay.
“Even though our languages were different, with one glance into their kind eyes, I knew we had more in common than we ever needed words to express.”
A friend once told me that we as humans all have things in common, some connections are just a bit harder to form than others. This rang so true as I stepped into the hospitable culture of Sri Lanka and found that was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. As our team of 23 walked through the village of Arugam Bay every day, the Sri Lankan people made us feel right at home. Constantly offering us tea or coffee, there was never a day we weren’t invited into someone’s home for some good conversation. I recall one afternoon when a few friends and I saw a woman in the neighborhood we were exploring. As we started talking to her, she instantly persuaded us to come visit her home and meet her family. Naturally, we followed and there she and her family prepared a place for us to gather. Generously giving us their seats, they made each of us an amazing cup of tea. As we sat and conversed with them, the whole family gathered around us and made us feel so welcomed. Her nieces saw that I had a camera with me and ran into a back room of their home to bring me out a massive family photo book. As I sat there flipping through this family’s old photos, looking back up at that same family watching me, I felt so connected to these people I had just met. Even though our languages were different, with one glance into their kind eyes, I knew we had more in common than we ever needed words to express. I felt this to be the theme of our trip, and it give me even more confidence to step out boldly in relationships where I expect there to be more disconnect than connection. I now know from experience: we all have something in common, and those similarities are far too precious to let any barrier stand in the way.