Tuesday, July 28, 2009

FLC Countdown: 11 Days, Reflections

The conference building lies over an hour outside of Colombo in a relaxing and quieter region surrounding the city. So for 1 ½ hours, I and 9 others took a van ride early in the afternoon to examine and settle on some last details for the site. During the ride I appreciated the amiable atmosphere that the group exuded. I have mentioned before how SLU had a warm and familiar feel. However, at this point, I felt that I was able to see past the professionalism and realize that SLU was more like a family than a corporate body. It certainly has all the ability and willpower to be a professional organization whenever necessary, but the glue that keeps the organization together and cheerful is their remarkable good spirit. Others from the outside who have seen the group together have also remarked on how well SLU seems to gel. By just listening to the conversation throughout the trip, I felt that I was a part of a family rather than a temporary and foreign assistant. This cohesion is all the more intriguing since Sri Lanka Unites draws on young people coming from a variety of backgrounds. The group contains both Sinhalese and Tamil members though this point is never brought up in conversation unless diversity is being emphasized. If this group is indicative of the Sri Lankan youth as a whole, then there truly is a strong reason to be optimistic about the weeks, months, and even years to come.

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