By Govindraju, Volunteer, Ooty Chapter

Ayubowan is the word used in Sri Lanka to greet someone. It means Long Life. One is generally greeted by joining two hands in prayer-like manner and saying “Ayubowan”. I was floored by their Hospitality. The way they accepted us into their family within such a brief time was simply amazing. People who were total strangers becoming lifelong friends in a few days can happen only through such exchanges. In my host family, both of them were Doctors, in spite of their busy schedule they took time off to be with me. They made sure I was engaged in some activity or they would interact with me. This made me feel at ease very soon and I even cooked for the family. Among the places I visited I have to mention about the Gem city, Rathnapuri and Colombo, the Capital city. Even though Sri Lanka is a developing country like India I was surprised to see the cleanliness in Colombo. Visiting a monastery helped me to connect with the spiritual dimension of my life.

Overall all it was a very memorable learning experience. I have been a host dad for two years and this time I could experience what my host children would have experienced when they stayed with us. Thank you AFS India! I shall cherish this memory forever.”