Welcome to our latest newsletter keeping you up to date with life at Jungle Tide. As always, let us know if you don’t want to receive them and we’ll unsubscribe you.
Our marathon road trip is coming to an end and we’ll be back at Jungle Tide on 5th January. This is also the date on which there might be a hotly contested general election but we’d already booked our flights so we’re keeping our fingers crossed that things will be normal enough for us to be met at the airport and return home safely that evening! Can’t wait to get back, and thanks again to all our wonderful staff and the house-sitters/temporary managers who have kept the place running very nicely while we’ve been away.
Charlie and Lorraine get married
Our stand-in managers, Charlie Cattell and Lorraine Eyre, got married during their stay at Jungle Tide. And not just any old wedding, a very special event held at Helga’s Folly, a place some of you will know.
Helga herself gave the bride away, helped to organise everything and insisted the ceremony would be candle lit (the Registrar had to be paid overtime for working late!). As anyone who knows Helga’s will understand, the candles there are something extraordinary. So was the dinner which included baby octopus and a wedding cake decorated with an edible pink fondant shoe to reflect Lorraine’s new business venture creating customised shoes as ornamental gifts. (check: https://www.headoverheels.design/)
Charlie and Lorraine both live in Greece so the guest list was small, though Charlie’s son Sam did manage to fly in from the UK to be best man. The other guests were Martin, Rani, Noni and her two children and two volunteers working at Helga’s. Also, a fashion show organiser from Colombo, a friend of the couple made it in time for the meal, but missed the ceremony – Sri Lankan traffic again, no doubt. Bats flew around the table during dinner – which is the norm at Helga’s. Expect the unexpected. We wish Charlie and Lorraine a wonderful future together and look forward to seeing them for a couple of days when we return home next month, before they have to fly back to Greece.
The TEA Project
The TEA Project (the title is an acronym: “Training, Empowerment, Awareness”) is a charity established by two young British people, Carl and Rachael, who live in Kandy and are keen to improve the lot of tea estate workers and their families in the local plantations. The project is especially concerned with empowering the children of the women who pluck the tea and are paid poverty wages of under $3 per day. Their husbands tend to be either unemployed or have casual work on the estates – road and drainage maintenance, and weeding, pruning, grubbing up and new planting of the tea bushes. While education in Sri Lanka is free, the economic demands imposed by household poverty often mean that children are taken out of school before qualification to help the family by earning a small wage. Housing conditions for the majority in the so-called “lines” houses are appalling; they were bad in the colonial era and have often worsened since then despite the provision of some more modern and appropriate workers’ housing developments in some estates. We are very keen to do what we can to help this project succeed, especially as they have now acquired a base for their activities in Kitulmulla, near to Jungle Tide (see photograph).
Through a partnership with trekking guide Suranjith Wewita, who owns the property the project is leasing, we want to organise treks in the Hanthana mountains for guests, part of the fee for which will contribute to the project. And if any readers of this newsletter would like to contribute directly to the project, here’s their Christmas appeal: The Centre’ has arrived. We are happy to announce this will be Sri Lanka’s first dedicated ‘Empowerment Centre for Children’ in Sri Lanka.
The Centre is located in the tea plantation of Hanthana; supporting some of the most vulnerable children in Sri Lanka from local tea plantation communities, schools & orphanages.
The T.E.A Project have agreed an initial 30 year contract on the site to ensure the best chance of realising the long term success of the project and of sustaining our vision.
THIS IS OUR CHRISTMAS APPEAL…….. https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/thecentre
The T.E.A Project needs £16,000 ($20,000/ 3.5 million LKR). This will secure use of the land & buildings for 30 years. It’s as simple as that. We of course need to equip and staff the centre but 16,000 pounds will ensure the site is dedicated to empower children for a minimum of 30 years…….
Please Please Please can you help us reach our target.
The above link includes more information about the project but if you would prefer to donate via Jungle Tide rather than via the link please contact us and we will be happy to arrange it for you.
The Garden Room re-roofed
As mentioned in the last newsletter we had to close the Garden Room due to roof leaks in the very wet weather we have been experiencing at Jungle Tide. The room has now been entirely re-roofed and is again open for bookings as our family budget accommodation – it sleeps six people in two sets of bunks and a double bed.
Sri Lanka Holiday Guru
Sri Lanka is now a top tourist destination – which on the whole is a good thing. But that means that there is a whole lot of hype talked about it, and often misleading information such as describing Ella as a “quiet, peaceful place”. We are therefore delighted to see the launch of a website “Sri Lanka Holiday Guru” run by Royston Ellis whose opinion and experience we trust and who, unlike most of the people who promote tourism, actually lives in Sri Lanka. If you want unbiased, reliable information on Sri Lanka you could do a lot worse than checking out www.srilankaholidayguru.com And of course you can also ask us!
Jerry and Sally