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Sri Lanka 2011 Tour Vision

26 Dec

Friends,

Many of you know that in 2006 and 2007, I lived and worked in Sri Lanka for nine magical, unforgettable months. I was a volunteer at Rohana Special School, a school primarily for deaf children in Matara on Sri Lanka’s southern coast. I wrote extensively about my experiences at my blog, Found In Ceylon (www.foundinceylon.com).

Even years later it’s difficult to overstate the impact that Sri Lanka made on my life. I worked hard—both by myself and with other volunteers—to empower the students, the teachers, and the overall Deaf community in Matara. We made sports uniforms, retrofitted the classrooms with whiteboards, published a dictionary, found jobs for graduates, set up sign language classes for residential staff, and implemented Deaf education training programs for teachers. Together we transformed the school into one of the best special schools in the country. My journey in Sri Lanka has made me who I am now, a Deaf kindergarten teacher at P.S. 347, an ASL-English bilingual school in New York City.

But my nine months in Sri Lanka weren’t just about the school. The country has a wealth of amazing ruins, temples, monuments, wildlife, beaches, forts, and jungles. The New York Times called Sri Lanka the #1 place to visit in 2010. Millions have visited the country; many have kept coming back. People say the country is imbued with an extraordinary aura, a spirit of luck, serendipity, and loving-kindness. I believe them, because I’ve seen and felt it.

And now it’s your turn to see Sri Lanka. Leading a tour to Sri Lanka for Deaf and signing adults has been one of my dreams, and I’m doing it. Next summer is your chance to visit this island. This recreational trip will be about sightseeing, journeying, and relaxing. Check out the amazing itinerary below—you’ll be experiencing the best Sri Lanka has to offer.

But no trip is complete without some measure of “giving back,” and as guests, you will plan and provide two short workshops at Rohana Special School focused on sign language and arts & crafts. We will also visit deaf associations and meet Deaf people working in various professions.

Arthur C. Clarke, Sri Lanka’s most famous expatriate, wrote, “The island is a small universe; it contains as many variations of culture, scenery and climate as some countries a dozen times its size.” What are you waiting for? Sign up now and get ready for an unforgettable experience—an intimate, all-signing group traveling through the Pearl of the Indian Ocean in July 2011.

Warmly,

Adam Stone