ISLE Program

Spring 2009 Getting There

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 Big Journey:

ISLE Group at O'Hare

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.

Arrival at Kutanayake

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.

Joe at Kandy Lake

After arriving in Kandy, Joe enjoys the shade of one of Sri Lanka's beautiful trees beside Kandy Lake.

Carrie, Emily and Andrew K. at the Lake

Carrie, Emily, and Andrew K. pose for pictures beside Kandy Lake.

Settling in and University Tea

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 Damian at hotel

Andrew S. and Damien take in the view of the Kandyan hills from their balcony at the Sandekelum (Moonlight) Hotel.

Group before school

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. 

Katie and Uni students

Program Assistant, Katie Hyman, chats with three University of Peredeniya students (left to right: Dhanu, Kasun, and Thames) from the Arts Faculty.

Damian and Uni students

Damian chats with University of Peradeniya students.

Emily with Uni students

Emily chats with University of Peradeniya students.

Learning Sinhala

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. does letter

Andrew S. reproduces the Sinhala letter "ra/re".

Joe shows the character

Joe contorts his body to imitate the letter "ba/be".

Andrew K. does

Finally, Andrew K. creates the letter "L".

Later that day, the students practiced their Sinhala penmanship.

Becky practices Sinhala script

Becky practices writing the letter "i".

Carrie practices Sinhala script

Carrie practices writing the letter "i".

Sandamali assists Joe

Sandamali, one of the ISLE Sinhala instuctors, looks over Joe's Sinhala script.

For an example of actual Sinhala script, check out:

Meeting the Host Families: Orientation and Host Family Tea

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 host family

Andrew K. and his host family

Andrew S. and his host parents

Andrew S. and his host family

Becky and host family

Becky and her host family

Carrie and host family

Carrie and her host family

Damian and host family

Damian and his host family

Emily and host family

Emily and her host family

Joe and 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.