Discovering Sri Lanka – a country filled with opportunities Day 4

Students and teachers from Yuen Long Catholic Secondary School have departed on a 4-hour drive to visit Hambantota Port.

Yan Hoi Pan | Wong Hin Sum |  Kwok Hau Yee reporting from Sri Lanka!

Ms Yueng Yat Heung| Mr Cheng Kai Yin, coordinate

First Stop:Hambantota Port

In order to spend the day at Hambantota Port, we woke up at 5am to catch a 4-hour bus ride to our destination. On our way to Hambantota Port, we travelled on a highway that was constructed by Chinese enterprises. This highway has helped Sri Lankans decrease their travel time between the two places by half!

Originally, we also had to pack breakfast for the go, but our amazing tour guide was able to persuade the teachers to let us stop at a hostel for breakfast.

Hambantota Port is a 99-year development project signed by the Chinese and Sri Lankan government.

Hambantota Port, a 99-year development project signed by the two countries, was constructed with a goal to become an important logistics hub in South Asia as well as a transit-related port for material processing. The staff gave us an overview of the project, updated us on the construction progress, and what they expect in the future. He went on to explain in detail regarding port logistics and the difficulties constructing this site.

Currently, Hambantota Port is only partially developed and there is still a long way to go. In the operating section, one can see wild animals such as peacocks and monkeys roaming around. After touring the port, we sympathize with the Chinese developers and understand how difficult it is for Chinese enterprises to expand construction initiatives into developing countries. However, this has made us realize to never give up and keep striving forward.

The development of the port is still in the progress.

Second stop: Galle Harbour

Thanks to our tour guide Linda for adding an additional stop on our way back to the city! The city of Galle strikingly beautiful and the buildings are reminiscent of the times when Sri Lanka was colonized by the Dutch and Portuguese.

On our way back to Colombo from Galle, Linda shared a personal story that touched all our hearts.

“Life is full of ups and downs. When you’re feeling low, you have to keep your hopes up and never give up on yourself”

Linda was born in Hong Kong but due to sudden family matters, had to move back to Sri Lanka. After moving back, Linda was forced to marry and was oppressed by her husband. In a society where women are considered incapable of working independently, Linda divorced her husband and by chance became a tour guide. When she met her second husband, Linda had to tackle the religious differences and issues between their families. At her happiest moment, another tragedy had to come her way: the passing of her husband. However, Linda did not give up on herself despite going through so much pain. She is hopeful whenever faced with a problem, and eventually is able to overcome these difficulties.

Most recently, Linda has obtained a Hong Kong tourism license to be an official tour guide. We were her first student group from Hong Kong!

Linda said to us: “Life is full of ups and downs. When you’re feeling low, you have to keep your hopes up and never give up on yourself” We were deeply touched by her words and, relative to the struggles Linda’s faced, we must not give up when faced with challenges.

In a blink of an eye, the day has come to an end. Tomorrow we will continue visiting more enterprises in Sri Lanka.