The project ‘Rotaractors Dayout’ was organized by the Club Service Team to spend a quality day with fellow Rotaract board members and to ensure that the board members strengthen their bonds between each other and build strong interpersonal relationships.
How we planned:
The idea behind the project was initially brought up in order to bring to life the much needed physical meet-up of the board members. Due to the corona pandemic the board members for 2020/2021 were not able to meet up physically until then. All board meetings had been conducted virtually upto then.
We thought to ourselves, what better way is there to bring everyone together than a fun getaway while getting to experience the most breathtaking sceneries and the coolest of ocean waters. The planning of ‘Rotaractors Dayout’ started off way back in July. The need for everything to proceed without any bumps and hiccups required intricate planning down to the last detail.
With much discussions, meetings with the committee members and research of the places that can be visited in one day, several destinations in Galle and Matara were selected. They were Dalawalla beach, Thalpe, Mirissa, Polhena beach and Galle Fort. After the many discussions at board meetings and planning between the project chairs the final date for the trip was decided as the 30th of August 2020 and everything of good to go.
The promotion of the trip was done within the board members in their WhatsApp group. Messages were shared in the Board WhatsApp group with details of the Dayout plan. The plan was approved by the majority; a date feasible for all the board members who agreed to participate was selected.
The next stage of planning was arranging lunch and transport. For transport, a bus was booked for one day by our project chair Rtr. Eshan Perera. Lunch was arranged by Rtr. Amantha Kodithuwakku and Rtr. Induwara Atapattu by making calls and reserving in advance for our people at a restaurant in Matara called Madiha 360.
On the day of journey
The journey took place by a bus which was booked for the sole purpose of the trip. Members were asked to be present at the place of departure, the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo by 6.00 a.m. However as most trips go, it was around 7.00 a.m, when everyone had arrived and were seated and on board the bus. Several participants who had requested previously joined along the way. A total of 21 board members and a few friends were present.
The bus route was from the Faculty of Medicine to the Kottawa Highway to Galle. The bus ride to the first destination was not a quiet one. Owing to the presence of several talented musicians on board, the participants enjoyed every moment with singing, occasional dancing by some of the members who could most certainly bust a move. On the way to Galle a stop was made at a local Food City to stretch legs and stock up with snacks and water. The first destination was Dalawella beach, the home of the magnificent Ship-Rock. The beach was reached by around 9.30 a.m. The beautiful ocean with the morning sun falling on the beach was amazing. Climbing up the Ship-Rock was a feat successfully done by all our participants, but of course with the helping hands of the better climbers.
After taking in the beautiful view of the ocean from atop the rock and soaking our feet in the sandy beach and cool water, it was time to set off to the next destination. At around 10.30 a.m. we reached Thalpe beach which was next up on the list. The view was breathtaking at its best. The artificial square ponds within the ocean were a well known location for sea bathing. Unfortunately the ocean waves were too strong and we were advised not to do so. However, two of our brave-hearted Rotaractors took up the task, staying well within the safety limits. Everyone else enjoyed a nice game of catch-the-coconut. Next stop was the infamous Coconut Tree Hill of Mirissa. The must-take photographs of the view of the ocean with tall coconut trees were taken by all. The talents of the Public Relations team certainly came in handy to capture the essence of the good time spent there. Everyone enjoyed a refreshing drink of king coconut from a local shop along the brief walk back to the bus.
The fourth destination was Polhena beach which was the destination for the ocean swim. Polhena beach was reached at around 2.00 p.m. It was lunch time, but everyone unanimously agreed that it would be better to finish the swim and work up a bigger appetite. Everyone chipped in to buy a beach ball which unfortunately with one toss blew away with the wind and was forever lost at sea. After several hour of playing around in the cool ocean water, everyone changed and set off to lunch. Lunch was from Madiha 360 restaurant in Matara. It was a good place to wind down and relax after the long day of sight seeing and activity.
It was around 5.00 p.m. and everyone definitely had a hearty meal. Then it was time to get going to the final destination of the journey. Travelling the highway to reach Galle, the final stop was the Galle Fort. The timing was spot on because the Galle Fort Food Festival was also happening at the same time. Everyone had a great time there with amazing food, music and endless dancing. There were so many food selections and it was so hard to pick one that everyone ended up having Jumbo sausages. With all the dancing and singing along time flew by fast. To everyone’s dismay it was nearing 10.00 p.m. and it was time to head back.
After all of the great fun, the bus ride back to Colombo was a time for reflecting what we learnt today about each other and reminiscing the good old stories of life at the Colombo Medical Faculty. On the way back, a stop was made at the highway service center. It was almost nearing Rtr. Shanya Mudannayake’s birthday. A birthday cake was brought without her knowing and she was most certainly surprised when everyone started singing Happy. The bus reached the end of the journey, the last stop, the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo at around 12.45 p.m. Several people got down along the way. It was made sure that everyone returned safely to their homes and boarding places. Thus ended a successful day and a successful project filled with fun, excitement and happiness.