Thousands kilometres from home, lot of things change. So many things are different to what I knew, that sometimes it makes you think about what is the better or worst, the answer is, that they are simply different.
I was get used to only hearing about Catholicism, I know that there are many different religions all over the world, but I had never had the chance to live them in very first person. Sri Lanka is giving me the opportunity to know about Buddhism, maybe a religion we have idealized thanks (or because of) to films and television, but actually, it goes far beyond. The devotion and surrender of Buddhist people is incredible. The simplicity with which they practice religion, the happiness with which they make acts of faith. They don´t live worried about being punished because of their sins, they simply try to do good things, because they know it is the only way to reach a healthy live.
My first interactions with this religion were thanks to need to develop my first STARS project in a temple, in Horana, Kalutara district. The first email that inform us that we were going to work in a Pansala (Sinhalese word that means temple), scared us at the same time it intrigues us. A temple? with dark corridors and secret passageways? full of antiques?… nothing further from reality… is about a very simple place that with different references to Lord Buddha welcomes every devoted people that want to make offerings. Every temple has a sacred tree, Lord Buddha statue, shrine cave and a pagoda. And temples also have simple buildings for allocating the monks.
The monks that inhabit in the temple where I had the opportunity to work in, called Ampitigala Temple, and all the people that works there are incredible people, always helpful with all the people that needs. I never thought about the possibility that one day they will become good friends of mine. Spending 8 hours per day with them, without having the possibility of fluent communication because of language differences, sometimes made difficulties to work. But when people have predisposition, when things are made by heart, when the human values are the main motor for reaching goals… there are not problems, only challenges.