There were so many incredibly heartwarming encounters during Trail 2011. These experiences put everything into perspective and made it all worthwhile. This post is the first in a series of blogs about stories from the Trail.
The Fisherman’s Cap
On a particularly hot day in July, as we were walking along the beach approaching Weligama, we were greeted by the friendly, inquisitive faces of fishermen who had just returned from their night out at sea. As they beached their boats and hauled in their nights’ work, they made their way towards us. One of the fishermen asked us what we were doing, obviously perplexed by the massive herd of near identical people approaching. We told him we were in the middle of a walk from the South of Sri Lanka to the North, to build a cancer hospital and raise awareness. He probed further and upon learning about our attempt to simultaneously unite a country ravaged by a 26 year long war, his expression immediately shifted. What was initially curiosity had now become determination followed by an epiphany. He took off the hat he was wearing and turned towards his fellow fishermen. Exchanging a few words, he eagerly held out the hat, moving from person to person as each fisherman dropped something into it. He spun around and enthusiastically handed it to us – they had filled the hat with money. The life of a fisherman is one that comes with a lot of hardships. These complete strangers went out of their way to help us achieve our goal and we were so grateful for the compassion and generosity shown.
Banana Achchi (affectionate Sinhalese term for Grandma)
A little further up the road, we crossed paths with an old lady towing a cart brimming with bananas. She was seated on the pavement, obviously exhausted from the insufferable heat. As she saw us approaching, she slowly stood up, using her cart for support. Leaning against it, she questioned what we were doing and almost immediately began plucking bananas and handing it to the crowd of people walking past her. It may not seem like much however this was evidently her entire week’s earnings that she was handing out, unbothered by the potential hurdles she may face as a result.
Trail 2011 gave us the opportunity to experience firsthand a form of selflessness that was so pure and genuine – we are so grateful to have been given the chance to cross paths with some of these incredible people.
These humble stories inspired our Feature T-shirts that you can now purchase here.
Each design tells a unique Trail story. Every cent you spend on all our merchandise goes towards building a cancer treatment facility at the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital in Galle.