This past weekend I got to enjoy one of the perks of my volunteer gig – travel to an exotic location in the country where there also happen to be journalists and talk to them about mental health reporting. Well, that’s what I did for one and a half days. The others were pretty much spent at the beach drinking Lion lager and eating. Good times and a great way to mark my one year anniversary living in Sri Lanka.
Thanks to fellow volunteer Hans for arranging and all the eager Trinco journalists for attending the workshop. Enjoy the photos:
Mr. Hans, the VSO volunteer who works with the Trinco media house, presents a book on investigative journalism to the media society’s president, Mr. Rafideen. Hans, Rafideen and I managed to pretty much plan the entire Saturday workshop in two hours the day before. That’s the way we roll in SL.
An early arrival to the workshop reads over the VSO mental health and the media handbook. Surely checking if he has any symptoms.
My translator Watiesh and I rip it up in English and Tamil. The Sinhala translator sat in the audience and yelled his translation at the same time we were talking. Wasn’t noisy in that room at all! hahaa..
After learning them all I know about mental health, I gave the journalists a ‘mental health’-related reporting assignment. They proved to be fairly good students, even though some just made up their own story.
Here’s a look at the journalists gathered for the event. I think at its peek there were 30 from all over the region. Great turnout.
I didn’t escape without getting tested myself. This man was a freelancer with the Sinhalese BBC service. I was at my spin-doctoring best as I said everything and nothing about mental health all at the same time. Hans was impressed and disgusted with my talent.
Trinco psychiatrist Dr. Prabath came out of the jungle to address the workshop and fill in some of the medical gaps in my knowledge. All in attendance were very concerned that they may have an undiagnosed mental illness and not even know it.
My new friends Annie and Clarence and (now) old friend Hans enjoying some kottu.
Come on Canadians. Why don’t you visit Sri Lanka?
Apparently this is a remnant from the 2004 Tsunami – a fishing boat firmly implanted in the side of the beach.
Taking a break from studying or praying or whatever it is that girls wearing all white on a Sunday are doing in Sri Lanka.
We just made it by in our three wheeler before the herd crossed the road on their migration to greener pastures.
The temple’s only inhabitants were these monkeys, who were keeping an eye on the white man.
This great ruin site is also near Trinco and has absolutely no visitors. Not sure who built it or why, but it’s safe to say it was a long time ago.
These are some natural hot wells near Trinco where you can go to get a warm shower. Since its 40 above outside, not sure if it’s exactly needed.
This Rudolph look-alike was wandering the vegetable market looking for a cheeky cucumber or two.