Barefoot, beggars and buses

Posted Thursday February 19, 2015 by Hazel Durbridge

The image comes from the Barefoot website: www.Barefootceylon.com/cafe

I did eventually meet up with five volunteers yesterday in a famous café/ textiles place called Barefoot. It was nice enough, I shared a bottle of mediocre wine, listened to the chat although even with only 5 of us they all talk over each other and ticked the socialising box. It’s unlike me not to pick up a friend for life from a job or an experience of this length, but there is no one I would seek out here. It reinforces that there is a VSO genre which makes me uncomfortable, because I obviously display these traits too.

I got to the bus OK last night, but did not realise it went on further than Batticaloa, All the curtains get closed because people are sleeping and there are no lights outside so one place can look much the same as the next. Anyway, they suddenly remembered I should have got off at Batticaloa and flag down a bus going in the other direction and transfer me on to it – only about a half hour detour. Again, you arrive in the pitch black trying to negotiate a tuk tuk.

Lots of beggars last night who get on the bus before it departs – not something you see with airport transfers. At least half a dozen in various maimed and mutilated states, mainly minus one or two legs, hard to tell if it is a war thing. I don’t tend to give in those contexts. I don’t know what you feel about it.

The funding for printing the plan is to be provided by Oxfam whose EU funding ends in July so I need to focus now.

Public transport is mainly provided by state owned Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and by private bus operators. The bus services have been regulated by Eastern Province Transport Authority. More than 500 private buses and 320 state buses are operating on local  roads. There are nearly 31 approved bus routes use by 11,168 passengers per day. Per day revenue is Rs. 335,331.00

Batticaloa District Development Plan DRAFT 2013

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