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My Global Adventures-Minds Eye Pictures

Minds Eye Pictures, which was here in Sri Lanka as a part of their adventure covering 26 countries in 8 months,from 27th August 2001 to 4th September 2001.Eco Team (Pvt) Ltd , handled the most interesting part of the tour - living with the “Veddha” community in Dambana, taking elaborate care so as to give them the best possible comforts. 
The program was based upon a single woman's life, Asia [name] voyage of discovery through physical adventures & cultural adventures.

Read the detailed decription of the event…………………

Even though the crew was supposed to arrive in Dabana on the 30th August Team leaders of Eco Team were their from the 28th, making the ground arrangements. Obtaining permission from the local authorities, briefing the villagers and getting their participation - as Eco team always believe in true eco tourism, arranging transportation of water etc. Even though they were well experienced in this area and these types of concepts, no room was left for any mistakes.
Other team members arrived at Dambana on the 29th morning and a fully equipped camp was setup at the bund of “Delikedali Wewa”- a beautiful lake, by 30th 4.00pm   

Asia with her team arrived at the campsite around 7.30pm. After a small but warm welcome meeting that was held with participation of the Uva Provincial Council the Crew departed to meet the Vedda Chief Uruwarige Wanniyaleththo.

Asia had a very interesting chat with the Chief with the assistance of two interpreters of Eco team. From “Vedi” Language to Sinhala and from Sinhala to English. After the meeting, Kiri Koraha dance was performed to evoke blessings from the dead ancestors. It was a very exciting experience for the entire crew and they were amazed with facial expressions of the dancers.

Finishing the dance, crew went back to the camp, which was beautifully illuminated, by campfires, “Pol Comba Pandam” & lanterns. Even though it was around 9.30 pm and the crew was after a heavy day, they went straight to the tables set up for dinner, with their Laptops & other sophisticated equipment and started work. It was nice to see the modern High tech at work in the middle of a jungle, as they got connected to the world within few minutes through a satellite phone.

They sent reports of daily happenings to the web and sent some pictures to Canada office for them to update the web. Even though the film is supposed to telecast in January 2002 for 12 million people in 24 countries, according to the team there is a large no of people who log on to their site to join Asia’s Global Adventure.

Then came the dinner time & everyone was very pleased with the full spread B.B.Q with so many other options.
The entire team was so committed to their work & even after dinner they continued their work till 1.30 am.

Crew was supposed be at the Vedda village around 9.00am and the breakfast was served around 8.00am.They had many comments on the “Beli Mal” drink which was served before the continental Breakfast. After hearing their expert guide Mr. Sam Kasir’s interpretation on the drink and it’s herbal value some wanted take “Beli mal” in kilos when they leave the country.

At 9.00 am we were at the Chief’s hut and Asia spoke to him for about one hour.
A few excerpts from the Asia’s journal in their website are quoted below.
 “The Veddah of Ceylon (Sri Lanka): among all of the gems this teardrop island is known for, these tribal people are unassumingly the most precious and increasingly the most rare. Over the past fifty years the Veddah have fought against encroaching laws and restrictions that have stolen their livelihood of hunting and relegated them to becoming trespassers on land they roamed freely for 30 000 years.”

   “ I learned that this chief had visited Geneva and Nepal to meet with leaders of other aboriginal people around the world. He greatly desired to see the rights of indigenous people everywhere returned to them before it was too late. His eyes spoke more than his words of the passion and weight he felt concerning the frailty of the world's ancient people.”

    ” I asked the chief what his fears were for his people. He answered me with watery eyes that he fears he will not be able to stop the death of the Veddah way of life, during his lifetime. He said many nights he has lain awake, worried and afraid that his efforts may not be enough.”

Uruwarige Vanniyaleththo-Veddha Chief in interview with Asia and the MD, Eco Team Pvt. Ltd., who interpreted.

Then came the hunting time. The hunters took Asia into the jungle, and taught her how to stalk prey, extract honeycomb from a tree, shoot with bow and arrow and lay a small animal trap.

Finishing all this, the crew was kind enough to buy many handicraft items they have made as souvenirs, and at the same time to help them.

After a hard day the crew came back to the camp for lunch and had freshly prepared typical Sri Lankan Rice & Curry.


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