The students have been busy preparing throughout the summer, and finally the time has arrived for them to embark on their journey. Meanwhile in Sri Lanka, ISLE faculty and staff have been engaged in intensive preparations and planning to ensure that the coming ISLE semester is a success.
After a busy summer, the students began their journey to Sri Lanka on Tuesday August 25th. For some, the day began very early indeed, but they all convened that afternoon at Chicago's O'Hare airport for a meeting with ISLE Administrative Director Dr. Sree Padma Holt and ISLE Program Assistant Katie Berringer before embarking on the international portion of their journey.
Padma, Sarah, Kate, Pete and Bryanna meet at O'Hare.
Dan, Katie and Alex at O'Hare
Jen, Dan and Padma at O'Hare
Bryanna (left) and Pete (right)
Alex takes a nap in Frankfurt before the group's flight to Colombo.
Afther their long flights, the students looked surprisingly cheerful upon arrival at Colombo's Bandaranaike International airport at 5:00AM.
Bryanna, Sarah, Dan, and Kate waiting in line at the airport in Colombo.
Jen meets the group's driver and all around guide, Sumanasena.
Alex, Pete, Program Director Roger Vetter, and Sumanasena chat at a tea and
breakfast stop along the Colombo-Kandy road.
Sumanasena, Kate, Sarah, Jen, Dan, and Bryanna enjoying tea at the
rest stop en route to Kandy.
The students pose for their very first group photo.
The view from the group's hotel in Kandy.
Dan, Alex, and Sarah take in the view from the group's hotel balcony.
Kate, Dan, Pete, and Sarah fight off jet-lag at the hotel.
The students arrived on Thursday, and on Friday, they had their first Sinhala class at 8:00 AM. They will need Sinhala language skills throughout their stay in Sri Lanka.
Sarah, Kate, Pete, Bryanna, and Alex at their first Sinhala class with Professor Liyanage and his assistant monk Wijitha.
Pete, Bryanna, Alex, Jen, and Dan with Roger and Val Vetter at their
first Sinhala class.
After their morning Sinhala class, on Friday afternoon the students were given a tour of the University of Peradeniya, and then attended a tea with local university students.
The whole group on their tour of the Peradeniya University.
Sarah, Kate, Alex, and Peter make friends with University of Peradeniya
students over tea.
Jen chats with two Peradeniya students.
Sinhala instructor Sandamali has tea with Bryanna.
On Saturday afternoon, the students met their host families at a festive tea at the ISLE Center.
Jen, Pete, and Pete's host mother help themselves to some tea.
Alex and his host father get to know each other.
Sarah and Kate ("the Kiribathkumbura girls") with their host mothers. Sarah and Kate will both be living in nearby Kiribathkumbura village.
Dan and Val Vetter with Dan's host father and brothers.
Bryanna with her host family.
Roger Vetter with ISLE host family coordinators, Mr. and Mrs. de Silva.
Jen and her host parents with the ISLE Center Manager, Rosemary Chunchie.
Professor W.A. Liyanage introduces Jen, Bryanna, Dan, Alex, Val, and Roger to Sinhala studies in the ISLE Center's
open air classroom.
Assistant Sinhala instructor Sandamali helps Sarah and Kate.
Program Director Roger Vetter and his wife Val practice their Sinhala alongside the ISLE students.
Dan's second Sinhala letter quiz.