After a long journey, the students have arrived in Sri Lanka and are getting to know Kandy, their professors, local university students, and their host families. Scroll down for pictures of their journey to Sri Lanka, and their first few days there.
The Spring 2009 ISLE students (sans Carrie, who met the group in London) gathered at O'Hare airport in Chicago on the 25th of January to begin their journey across the globe. Dr. Sree Padma Holt joined them briefly for introductions and in order to discuss and offer words of advice regarding the experience that lay ahead. At London/Heathrow, everyone regrouped and refueled before the final leg of the trip. Pictured (left to right) are: Dr. Sree Padma Holt, Joe, Andrew S., Emily, Damian, Andrew K., and Becky.
In the wee hours of the Sri Lankan morning (and early evening hours of the U.S.), Program Director, Professor Larry Lutchmansingh, and ISLE program driver extraordinaire, Sumanasena, met the slightly haggard, but nonetheless eager group of Spring ISLE students at Katunayake airport. The group began their ascent into the hills in the dark, but were soon greeted by a gentle sunrise. After a brief stop for breakfast at the Ambepussa Rest House, they continued on to Kandy. Pictured (left to right) are: Andrew S., Andrew K., Emily, Damian, Becky, Professor Lutchmansingh, Carrie and Joe.
After arriving in Kandy, Joe enjoys the shade of one of Sri Lanka's beautiful trees beside Kandy Lake.
Carrie, Emily, and Andrew K. pose for pictures beside Kandy Lake.
For the first few days after arrival in Kandy, the students stayed at a local hotel. There they rested and got a chance to meet each other and University of Peradeniya students before meeting and moving in with their host families. Following are some pictures of the students' first few days in Sri Lanka, including the University Tea at which they met their Sri Lankan counterparts.
Andrew S. and Damien take in the view of the Kandyan hills from their balcony at the Sandekelum (Moonlight) Hotel.
The students prepare for their first morning of Sinhala class.
Later, Isle and Peredeniya students intermingled at an informal University tea. The event was a great success, and the students eagerly engaged each other in conversation.
Program Assistant, Katie Hyman, chats with three University of Peredeniya students (left to right: Dhanu, Kasun, and Thames) from the Arts Faculty.
Damian chats with University of Peradeniya students.
Emily chats with University of Peradeniya students.
The students were already independently studying Sinhala in preparation for their semester on the ISLE Program. Now their Sinhala classes begin in earnest.
Andrew S. reproduces the Sinhala letter "ra/re".
Joe contorts his body to imitate the letter "ba/be".
Finally, Andrew K. creates the letter "L".
Later that day, the students practiced their Sinhala penmanship.
Becky practices writing the letter "i".
Carrie practices writing the letter "i".
Sandamali, one of the ISLE Sinhala instuctors, looks over Joe's Sinhala script.
For an example of actual Sinhala script, check out: http://www.omniglot.com/writing/sinhala.htm
After their second day of Sinhala class, the students returned to the ISLE center to meet their host families for the first time. They attended an orientation meeting, then enjoyed tea and conversation with their host families.
Andrew K. and his host family
Andrew S. and his host family
Becky and her host family
Carrie and her host family
Damian and his host family
Emily and her host family
Joe and his host family
Now the students will delve into Session I of the ISLE program, continuing their study of the Sinhala language. And as part of their Sri Lankan Mosaic course, they will tour some of Sri Lanka's most famous historical and cultural sites. Check the Session I page of this web site later for more photos and news from the ISLE Spring 2009 Program.