HFK -Preparation for the New Year

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Food and Fun Fair

After weeks of tie-dying shirts, making dream catchers and beading necklaces, the Food and Fun Fair finally dawned on Saturday, the 2nd of April. The fair was cheerful and bustling from the start, and it took me a moment to take in the colorful stalls and find the one that was labelled ‘Hope For Kids’. Thanks to the wonderful teachers we had supervising us, the stall was set up for success, with all our hard work displayed proudly along with many pictures of our work at the hospital.

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The HFK Stall

I, along with many of my fellow members, stopped by the stall frequently  throughout the fair to make sure that the members manning the stall could take a break. Unfortunately, I couldn’t spend all my time at my service stall as, like all the others, I also had to help out with our class stall, the ‘Slip ‘N Slide’. However, I still supported Hope For Kids by sending many of my friends to the stall, and buying something from the stall myself. Apart from raising money for our cause, I think our enthusiasm and commitment conveyed to all our customers our dedication to the service and its importance in Sri Lanka. Hopefully, our time at the fair also served in inspiring others to pay more attention to all the kids in need in Sri Lanka.

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Rations at the Hospital (Photo Credits: Smriti Nagarajan)

 

The Food and Fun Fair was a nice way of welcoming the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, here in Sri Lanka, which falls on the 13th or 14th of April, depending on the year. As this is a time where family and friends get together and celebrate new beginnings, we wanted the kids at the hospital, along with their families, to have the same opportunity. Therefore, as we had done the year before, we had a dry rations fundraiser at school before spring break, so the kids at the hospital could indulge in good food during this happy time. To incentivize our classmates to bring in dry rations (such as rice, milk powder, and other Sri Lankan staple foods), we decided to award the grade that brought in the most rations a pizza party.

 

 

The Thursday before spring break, as we were all struggling to load the immense amount of dry rations into our van to take to the kids, we realized how much our classmates had really delivered. This was especially true in the case of grade 7, who brought in the most amount of dry rations and won the pizza party.

At the hospital, due to the shy smiles and heartfelt ‘thank you’s of the kids and their families as we gave them their rations, it was wonderful to hear that we had brought in extra rations and could donate them to even more families.

As a Sri Lankan looking forward to her own New Year, I’m really grateful that I got to start it in such a simple, yet uplifting way.

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Taking the Rations to the Hospital (Photo Credits: Smriti Nagarajan)

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Piano Progress

In addition to playing the piano in school events, such as the gala concert, I also work on my piano skills outside of school, by doing the ABRSM piano exam practicals.

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Learning theory with Mr. Lancelot Perera

 

 

Currently, I am studying for Grade 7 theory and Grade 5 practicals. In order to prepare for these exams, I practice the required scales and pieces every day and go to an instructor to make sure that I’m on track for my exams.

 

 

In addition to playing for the exams, I’m also learning several songs in order to improve personally and for my own enjoyment. This is my favourite part of class, as it allows me to relax and reminds me of how much I enjoy playing the piano. Currently, I’m learning how to play ‘Love Story’ by Francis Lai:

Yoga -The End

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The DP1 Yoga students

Taking part in yoga was a totally new experience for me as all of my previous activities involved a lot of fast movement and quick reflexes – when I played badminton, it was all about being ready to move across the court in a matter of seconds. In yoga, i was challenged as much as I was in any other sport, however, these challenges were presented in very different ways.

Yoga tested my endurance and flexibility – by holding different yoga poses for the recommended amount of time, I improved my muscle strength while also working on my physical and mental tolerance. Another very unique aspect of yoga is its focus on healthy living and a serene mind. To help with this, we learnt different breathing techniques and meditation methods. After an exhaustive hour of stretching and exercises, it was a great way to relax and clear our minds.

Yoga proved to be a very relaxing activity not only because of all the knowledge we gained, but also because of our group atmosphere. The yoga activity this semester was made up of all DP1 students, meaning that we all knew each other very well, and were unafraid to try out new things around each other, and express our feelings.

I am really glad I tried yoga out, as it is a unique experience of an activity. The core values of yoga, such as having a peaceful conscience, and living healthy, are important life lessons that I can take away, and use, in many other aspects of my life.

Bugsy Malone – Curtain Call

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After months of hard work, Bugsy Malone was finally presented to a live audience on the 10th, 11th and 12th of March. As a backstage member (stage left), I wasn’t anticipating on any last minute nerves or butterflies in my stomach, but after all our dedication and commitment, I found it hard not be as invested in the play as the actors.

IMG_5760Through all the nerves and excitement, however, I managed to really enjoy every single performance – by the third performance, everyone backstage knew the words to the songs, and we had fun mouthing the words to all our favorites. By the third performance, I was also beginning to feel confident in the world of theatre and my role as a backstage crew member. To end the musical with flair, the final night had added musical performances and a different stage set up – while I may have felt out of my depth navigating new backstage orders at the start of the play, I now knew the stage and the props, as well as the actors and the directors, well enough, to manage my job easily.

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After the third performance, we celebrated all our hard work with cupcakes, laughter and congratulations. Although theatre is not a passion of mine, getting to know how it works, and getting to share in the joy of my friends, made it an invaluable experience.

 

 

 

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I never would have appreciated this musical the way I do if I hadn’t watched it come together from backstage – being involved in theatre will truly change my experience as an audience member from now on.