We greeted each other with an enthusiastic Happy New Year as we met after a three week break. We started our session with Sheila, Claude, Raja, Indrani, Nihal, Priyanthi, Kubra and Husseina lighting the traditional lamp. These wonderful people have been regularly visiting The Senior Station since its inception. We then wished Punyakanthi, Manique and Indrani who have birthdays this month. This Tuesday we had the privilege of having Binu Jha, a highly qualified yoga teacher, who instructed us on yogic meditation, breathing and exercise. It was a great session that put us all into a reflective mood. So next we play ‘the resolutions game’ which helped us think about goals for self improvement which we shared with each other. A presentation on how New Year is celebrated around the world was quite enlightening. It was interesting to note the different customs and traditions with which people around the world brought in the New Year!
Ho Ho Ho! Cheered everyone as we welcomed Sheila A.K.A. Santa to The Senior Station. And what a sport she was! Dressed in a full Santa costume, complete with balloons and a bag of treats, Sheila danced and clapped, setting off the Christmas spirit at our annual party. We’d like to thank Tania Polonnowita Wettimuny of Hellmann Worldwide Logistics (Pvt) Ltd whose sponsorship allowed us to organize a really grand party. We’d also like to thank Angeline Ondatjie, Munni Fazleabbas, Murtaza Esufally, Tasneem Akbarally and Sabir and Kim for their contributions that made the morning extra special. It was a program created by the members that started with carols sung by Swini, Sriani, Sheila and their friends. Soon all the other members joined in to some foot tapping numbers and sweet odes like Silent Night. Claude made a beautiful presentation on his experience of one year at The Senior Station which was followed by a tribute from Dolly and Miriam to the organisers. Everyone applauded the bonds of friendship that have evolved over the year, and joy that we experience at every session. The appreciation and love that the members poured on the organisers was truly touching, bringing many of us to tears. The party however continued. A dance performance by the organisers to the Christmas favourite, Santa Baby got everyone hooting, and a hilarious skit by Farook and his troop had us in splits. Birthday boy Gladstone brought a cake and everyone sang to him. Then there was a lucky dip conducted by Farook with many prizes, and a special program by Rajah called Laughter is the Best Medicine. Towards the end of the program we passed around glasses of a fruity, spiced drink, and shouted ’Cheers’ in different languages from around the world. We raised a toast to many more happy times at The Senior Station and closed with a bang as members burst bon bons laid out for them at their tables. But that was not all – The grand finale was the most sumptuous meal with turkey, stuffing and many more Christmas treats; And before everyone left they got a surprise gift that the organisers had laid out for them under the Christmas tree. This has been the most wonderful year and we look forward to meeting all our friends again at The Senior Station on January 8th 2019. Till then – Seasons greetings and happy holiday!
A big thank you to Samantha Elapatta who visited The Senior Station to conduct a truly enjoyable yoga session for us. Samantha is an experienced instructor from Canada who specialises in yoga for seniors. This week we played a thrilling game of Bingo. ”I have the full house!” exclaimed Farook. There was a buzz in the air followed by a murmur of relief, for it was a false call. And so we battled it out till Claude took away the top prize. On a closing note we’d like to wish Gladston, Farook, Irangani, Gwen and Mary who celebrate their birthdays this week.
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This week at The Senior Station our special guest was Johann Peiris, the second Sri Lankan to scale Mount Everest. Johann’s was a truly inspiring story – There was extreme disappointment when he had to turn back on his first attempt just 400 mtrs away from the peak; He spoke of sheer determination that brought him back to the mountain in the face of life threatening challenges. And he took us through the ultimate ecstasy of summiting the world’s tallest mountain. Johan wished us well with a quote from Sir Edmund Hillary – ‘It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.’
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Kudos to Masuma who came fully kitted out for The Senior Station’s Travel In Your Chair program which was based on Germany. She entered the hall waving the German flag and wearing a garland of red, yellow and black, and what a grand welcome she received. We’d like to thank Max and Marie, and also Julia and Karina from the German Embassy who taught our members some German words, and helped us run a presentation and quiz on Germany. They also joined in games traditionally played there, and gave members an insight to German culture including the very popular Oktoberfest. The big treat of course was a delicious meal put together by The German Restaurant.
It was a bright Tuesday morning and the air was rife with excitement as The Senior Station members eagerly clambered into the coach that took us to Negambo for our much awaited trip. Dolly and Priyanthi did a quick head count and then with a loud hip hip hooray we set off! Out came the guitar and tambourines, and soon everyone was clapping their hands and swaying to our favourite tunes. A picnic must always begin with something sweet. So first we tucked into delicious milk toffee, then came Priyanthi’s signature brownies, followed by biscuits, sweets, mixtures, chocolates and so much more. You can imagine that we were in really high spirits when we arrived at Camelot Beach Resort. A quick visit to our rooms to refresh ourselves after which, we gathered on the lawns under the shade of a coconut grove for our morning session of fun and games – A lucky draw with grand prizes, a Wrapping The Mummy competition, a Water Relay and the Balloon Dancing Game. It must have been a combination of the cool sea breeze and all the fun activities, because when lunch was announced, we were all starved. And what a spread we were treated to! It was a leisurely lunch with the only concern being what we should choose from the vast buffet counter. We would have loved to linger on a little longer but Claude, who had his eye on the time, had everything arranged for the next round of activities. Soon we all took our seats in the pavilion by the pool, and began chatting and joking when Sheila clutched her stomach and begun moaning uncomfortably. The Senior Station team jumped to their feet. Did we have a crisis on our hands?! ‘’Ooh’’ Sheila squealed, “It’s been such a hard year long pregnancy. I think I am at the end of my last quarter!” That was the prelude to the most hilarious skit scripted and enacted by Sheila along with Claude, Farook and Raja who played the 3 doctors that delivered the ‘bonnie little donkey’. The next item on the agenda was the masquerade competition in which members chose from a range of props and paraded around the pavilion. The winner, hands down, was Chandrika who did a little cameo of a village drunk. Chandrika is always so quiet, and it was wonderful to see her in such great form. There were more games, more pranks, more laughter – but alas all good things must come to an end. So at about 4.00 p.m. tea was served and we prepared to leave. It was 42 happy hearts that boarded the coach back to Colombo. ‘’This has been our best trip ever. We want more!”was the rallying cry. We at The Senior Station couldn’t agree more.
Our big challenge for The Senior Station this week was Pictionary – The game of drawing clues so that team mates can guess what the given word is. It took a bit of trial and error before everybody figured out creative ways of drawing and deciphering the clues. Soon the pace of the game picked up and a highly competitive mood set in, with teams racing to guess the answers first.
We also did a bit of lateral thinking with a set of riddles which compelled everyone to read between the lines to find hidden clues. Then there was a variation of Queen of Sheeba which also was a team activity. The consensus is that teams at The Senior Station find it easier to work with each other, as members, over the past four months, have bonded over shared activities and experiences. This is after all, one of the main goals of The Senior Station!
The Senior Station sessions started today after a three week break – And while we all had a great holiday, we were just as eager to regroup. Sajeda Akbarally had everyone in action with her pumped up exercise session.”How about a small break” piped up Claude who is always happy to play truant; but she gave him her inimitable, hard to resist smile and said, “I’m sure we can do one more round.” We all felt nicely worked out after the routine that ended with a loud cheer.
A new innovation at The Senior Station is to encourage members to share their skills with each other. Today Dolly Galely demonstrated the fine art of gift wrapping. She showed us how silver foil, colourful tissue paper and ribbon could be twisted and curled with amazing effect. Dried flowers and other embellishments were creatively used to make a range of interesting packages. Then the members were given empty boxes and a variety of wrapping material to come up with their own wonderful creations. So the next time you receive a gift from a Senior Station member you can be assured it will look good!
Today was also a celebration the birthdays in May – Chandrika and xxxxx cut a delicious chocolate cake from Ambrosia which was really finger licking good. It was lovely to see their happy smiles while all their friends sang and wished them well. Oh it’s so good to be back!!
Suba Aluth Avurudak wewa was the chant on everyone’s lips as we started our special celebration for the Sri Lankan New Year. Two little girls Anasha and Zainab paid tribute to all the elders by greeting them with a bulath leaf. Then Nihal , Shiela , Hatim, and Indrani who have attended almost every session of The Senior Station lit the traditional oil lamp on behalf of all the other members.
Now it was time for the session to begin. Our usual exercise session took an upbeat note with some baila music. Sheila cannot be held back when there is music. She soon took to the floor with her incredible dance steps and had other members shaking a leg too.
We had special Avurudu games lined up for today – A jumble word quiz with a twist, because the answers were names of traditional Avurudu foods. Teams then had to send in their representatives for the bun eating competition and pin the tail to the donkey quest. There were hoots and cheers in the air as the teams battled it out.
There was a challenge from the members for The Senior Station organisers to also play the pin the donkey game. Shahnaz was blind-folded and put to the task. Little did she know that the cheeky members turned the donkey upside down and she ended up pinning the tail to the donkey’s hoof.
The last challenge for the day was a garland making competition; and while the creative hands were at work, Farook, Claude, Raja, Nilhan, Indrani and Shiela made the tables their drums and regaled us with lovely folk songs. In the midst of laughter and song our Avurudu Kumarayas and Kumari paraded the beautifully crafted garlands for all to see.
After all that fun and frolic everyone indulged in kiribath, hakuru, kokis, konda kavum and many other delicious Avurudu treats which were all beautifully laid out. The Senior Station will close till May 8th 2018. But what lovely memories to take with us through the holidays.
For many of us, mobility issues are an unfortunate side effect of aging. So, we brought on board Dr. Shabbir Akbarally who shared with us some extremely interesting and enlightening details on how to stay healthy and the importance of stretching and exercising daily. Doc was kept busy answering the numerous questions from our members. Practical examples of how these exercises should be done, was also explained by him. Thank you Dr. Shabbir for taking time of your busy practice to be with us.
We welcomed two new members today, who immediately got into the swing of the day’s events.
It was now time wake up our brains with a brain teaser, and we played a game called Rebus. A very interesting and humorous puzzle in which words are represented by combinations of pictures and individual letters. We watched as the teams competed intensely to find the solutions.
Patience and strategy was required for our next game, Jenga. The teams had to stack 36 wooden blocks to build a tower and then take turns strategically moving pieces, but at the same time not allowing the tower to fall over. Very steady hands are needed for this. Hurrah for the team that had removed 20 blocks and narrowly won this game.
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