Saturday, 8 July 2017

Week 4 - Meeting friends from afar

Today's meeting was when the whole group came together for the first time. People had traveled from all over the UK to be a part of the meeting and to get to know the team. The group immediately bonded and there was a real sense of unity among the group. After introductions took place, the team got straight down to business and split off into groups to begin planning various activities for the trip.

With a helping hand from Sandra, an Ocean Stars volunteer with trip experience, the ladies planned the teacher training session we will all be involved in. The lads got together to plan sports day style activities that they will be doing with the boys in Trinco and Jen and Emma planned some crafts and bracelet-making to do with the girls.

Team's thoughts after week 4

Christine: It was good to meet the team and to get a clearer picture of what we will be doing. Also to get a feel what some of the groups will be like regarding their locations. I am really excited about the trip. I will receive so much from the children, and I hope will be able to give in experience of working with children. Thank you for a very helpful day.

Keith: Really good to meet the rest of the team and to see how it is all getting together. Good team atmosphere, lots of enthusiasm and expectation. Being approached to undertake D.I.Y. tasks at the preschools (following general conversation with Maureen last night) was unexpected but welcomed. I am looking forward to offering this service and to be able to help in this way. Roll on October.

Heather: So good to meet the rest of the team for the first time and to discuss in detail what we are going to do in Sri Lanka. We have lots to plan and to look forward to.

Shona: It was great to finally meet the group and to bond with the team members. It is good to get an expectation of the different environments we will be facing and how best to prepare. I was grateful for the time and inside knowledge provided by Sandra.

Chris: It was nice to meet the other members of the team. After only 2 meetings there is a lovely team spirit, good inter co-operation and support for each other and sharing of humour. Organization is becoming clearer and it was good today to work on practicalities. With every meeting I have a little more understanding of what life is like for the children and families. I have a growing excitement and today was particularly good in seeing how the things I want to achieve with my Heatherside children fits with what we are going to be doing in Sri Lanka.

Kamran: It was a great session. Really made me think about what activities to run and the implications of what we are doing.

Emma: It has been great to meet everyone and plan activities together. I am now very excited for the trip in October.

Aidan: It was a wonderful session. Full of good ideas and thoughtful suggestions as to how we can make the days in Sri Lanka memorable for the children and families. Everyone is contributing and it feels like one family pulling together and supporting each other.

Jen: It was really great to have the whole team together and get planning our activities in more detail, although James and I definitely need to practice our Scottish dancing.

James: It was great to meet the rest of the group. Trip is becoming very real now and the activities have started to be planned. There is lots to prepare and lots to look forward to.

Julie: It has been really good to meet the whole team. Plans are coming together well. Collecting resources and starting to cut out templates makes it feel very real! It gets more exciting every time we meet.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Week 3 - Teaching groups decided

Maureen, an OST trustee, and Sandra, an OST volunteer, both attended the meeting to give an insight to their previous experiences on the trip to Sri Lanka. It was really great to hear what they had to say and they were able to offer to great tips on getting the most out of the trip.

We also were given our groups for each school so we will know who we will be working with, and where we will be, each day.


Team 2 thoughts on the week

Julie: I am looking forward to beginning to plan the activities and thinking about things the children will enjoy doing. It’s really helpful learning about previous experiences from those who have visited before.

Heather: Looking forward to working with others in the group to arrange activities.

Dan: Seeing the itinerary take shape is very exciting, looking forward to being creative and planning the activities.

Jen: Really great to hear from Maureen and Sandra about their experiences and to be given some tips and advice for when we are there!

Kamran:  Can’t wait for the trip.

James:  Excited to see the children and interacting with them. Very busy schedule but all coming together now we have our teams.

Lorna:    I really want to go. The group are absolutely lovely. So I hope I can go.

Shahana: Feels like it is falling into place. I am also pleased that the fund raising event is coming together.

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Week 2 - Route planner

The team is now been given full detail of the journey ahead of them. This week we discussed the route we will be taking, along with the length of stay at each location.

Team 2 Route
Negombo - Kilinochchi = 187miles / 8hours
Kilinochchi - Jaffna = 37miles / 1.5hours
Kilinochchi - Trincomalee = 108miles / 4hours
Trincomalee - Batticaloa = 82miles / 3hours
Batticaloa - Colombo = 200miles / 9hours

Teams thoughts after week 2

Julie: Excited and looking forward to the challenges ahead. Nervous about all the things that have to be planned and remembered but feeling supported in this friendly group.

Heather: Very excited and looking forward again to visiting Sri Lanka, a little apprehensive perhaps.

Dan: Excited to go back to Sri Lanka with a new Team. I am very impressed with everyone’s fund raising efforts. I must get something sorted. May be another walk.

Jen: Having discussed the trip in more detail, I am even more excited to get out to Sri Lanka.

Kamran:  Clear and encouraging.

James:  Very excited! Nervous about taking classes but excited as well.

Lorna:    I really want to go. The group are absolutely lovely. So I hope I can go.

Shahana: Excited but a bit nervous about getting organised and managing the heat out there. I enjoy being part of the group.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Meet the team

The team met for the first time on Thursday 9th February 2017. We all introduced ourselves and shared our excitement for the trip. It was a great first meeting and we think we are going to get on really well. Find out more about why the team have chosen to come on this adventure.


I am looking forward to find out more about Ocean Stars and the trip to Sri Lanka in October. I am especially interested in maintaining the link between Fleet Methodist Church and Ocean Stars, as well as supporting Dilanee. I am happy this trip will enhance my work and ministry with children and families.


I would like to give something back to those less fortunate tan myself and to see firsthand how Ocean Stars help the people in Sri Lanka. I also think it is a great experience to go on the trip and it will be good for me to go outside my comfort zone and do something I have never done before.


I have been involved with OST for many years now and have always wanted to go on the trip. As a Trustee, my desire to go has deepened and I am keen to see the projects we support first hand and to have more input in the decisions we make as Trustees. I am also very excited to explore Sri Lanka and see what the country is like.

Though I am not sure yet about the trip I know I want to go back and continue to support the pre schools and the Ocean Stars Team. I feel I can’t leave it after having such a wonderful and fulfilling time last year. It will be wonderful to see the teachers and all our friends again.


I am happy to be here and meet up with the others who are joining the OS trip in October and to talk about expectations and hopefully have some input.


I am looking forward to being part of the Ocean Stars journey. I would like to get to know more about the trip and to help with planning and fund raising.


I am looking forward to returning as a volunteer and revisiting the projects and meeting all the people I have met before.