Wow!!! Never in our wildest dreams could we have hoped for such an incredible start to our Journey!! Our day begun at dawn at Maussa Kele Saman Devalaya, a beautiful nearby temple, where we were put under the watchful eyes of local buddhist gods. It was uplifting to see the Buddhist principles of equality and peace in action!
The Yathrees were then led in an inspiring training course by Kanchana (founder of ECO-V) whose wise words enlightened them on subjects such as sustainability, energy and water conservation, climate change and green living. Kanchana uses a holistic approach to her training sessions, inspiring her students to be aware of the interdependence of Humans and Nature, and the footprint that we have on our environment. This sparked a passion in the Yathrees to appreciate, respect, protect and care for Mother Earth.
After a delicious vegetarian lunch (we are adhering to vegetarianism for the journey) of dhal, curry and rice, we ventured further into the wondrous high country, through tea fields, jungle and waterfalls, to our destination at Nallathanni. From here we begun our trek to the holy Japanese Peace Temple, accompanied by the local police force who wished to show us their support for our journey. We stopped along the way to engage with locals about green living, and conducted water quality tests of the pristine Kelani River at its source. This will provide us with baseline data to quantify contamination of the river downstream, to allow us to develop solutions for preserving this majestic river.
We arrived at our hilltop destination at dusk, where we were invited into a traditional chanting ceremony for Peace, led by the Venerable Japanese buddhist monk Thakashima, who blessed the Yathrees and wished us well on our ‘Journey for Change'.