This week at The Senior Station we celebrated all the memories and experiences that have made our lives so special. The program this week was conducted by Hasini Haputhanthri, a Museologist, and Malathi de Alwis, an Anthropologist. They, along with Munira Mutaher, a member of the Memory Culture Team at GIZ, are compiling a book entitled The Archive of Memory which will portray a people’s history of the past seven decades post-Independence. The book will be a collection of memories that are connected to personal objects, and which relate to significant events in Sri Lanka.
Hasini, Malathi and Munira kicked off the program by playing old popular hit songs and asking the members to recall the names of the songs, singers and year in which they were released. The three of them were quite bowled over because not only did the members know most of the answers, they even belted out the lyrics. After that foot tapping session came a visual quiz that took members back in time to significant events from Sri Lanka’s history, popular old haunts like Fountain Cafe and brands that were an intrinsic part of life such as Two Elephants Safety Matches.
The members then listened to dramatised readings of stories that are already a part of The Archive of Memory, before they were invited to share their own personal experiences. We’d like to thank Nihal, Sriani, Claude, Priyanthi, Deepthi, Swini, Chandrika and Farook who shared with us such touching tales from their past. It almost felt like they were making us a part of their lives!
We did our usual exercise and now our members are more flexible and can do much more than when we started. Then we did an interesting ‘who am I’ quiz and a find the odd one out quiz. The fun event we all ended up enjoying was when we did various cup games. Stacking and tumbling cups were a challenge but not as much as getting a cup to fall in when a paper was pulled from under. ‘Morning chaos’ was was the topic for our skit competition. Our members acted out some hilarious acts that we couldn’t stop laughing. We ended the session with a mini sing along.
This week at the Senior Station we started with our weekly exercise with Nisrin and then moved on to a very challenging quiz of general knowledge. However, our smart members were able to score well. Next we had all our members enjoying dumb charades, each one taking a turn to act movies from the 70s, 80s and the 90s. This session was filled with lots of laughter. Then we had Professor Piyanjali de Soyza, a clinical psychologist and a professor in clinical psychology at the faculty of medicine at the University of Colombo teaching us what gratitude journaling is and how it helps us to think positive. She made it very interesting and interactive and our members had many questions for Prof. Piyanjali. Thank you Professor De Soyza for taking the time to visit us.
Viva Italia. Our members were treated to all things Italian today. The room was decorated with Italian flags and posters of exotic places in Italy. Allegra Baistrocchi from the Italian Embassy, her mother, Julia and Allegra also from the Embassy delighted us with their presence.
Nisrin’s exercises was done to soothing Italian music which set the ambience for the day. We next had Tony Fernandez teaching our members how to fox trot, cha cha and waltz. The ever-willing volunteer Mary was the first on the floor, with the others quickly joining in and dancing oh so gracefully with decorated masks on. Tony then did a wonderful demonstration of the Tango.
Our fist quiz for the day was a travel board game. Printed on the map of Italy was a start and finish point with questions related to Italy. Players in each team played against each other.
Armchair travel takes people to faraway places without leaving home and this was our next item. The well-known Travel personality Sherebanu Fazleabas from the US did a fabulous video presentation of a travel itinerary to Italy. We travelled to Rome, the picturesque Tuscany, the artistic city of Florence, and Venice, the city of Gondolas. Our Seniors were deeply enthralled in this presentation and had many questions for Allegra and Sherebanu.
Our next quiz was to find out how much they gathered from the presentation. And of course all teams came out with flying colors having scored a full 100 marks.
Our members enjoyed the photo booth where they were able to take photos against posters of different cities in Italy. We like to thank the Italian embassy for the beautiful posters given to us for this purpose.
Satisfying our hunger pangs was next on the agenda. Our very own Asamptha put together an amazing salad drizzled with Italian dressing which was served with lasagna. And to top it off we had Allegra giving us a delicious homemade gourmet Tiramisu for dessert.
Thank you, Allegra, Tony, and Sherebanu for all your efforts and contribution at our Senior Station today.
It was a long day and time for everyone to bid “arrivederci”, good bye until we meet again the next Tuesday.
We would like to thank Munni whose irrepressible energy, heart-warming smile and charm worked like magic at The Senior Station. We played a game of songs today, in which each team had to think of song which they sang as soon as the other team stopped. There was Munni, cheering everyone and prompting the members to get them going. The game got quite challenging as we went along, and underlying all the clapping, cheering and tapping of feet was a strongly competitive edge. Munni, Sheila and Nihal then put up a crazy performance with the song –‘She gave me kisses one, two and three’ which had everyone hooting and cheering wildly.
We’d also like to that Sajeda for her exercise routine which again got everyone feeling nicely stretched and flexed. Thank you Ambrosia for the delicious mocha cake given to us to celebrate the July birthdays.
Mental puzzles and games apart, The Senior Station also announced the upcoming annual trip, for which everyone is really excited!
‘I am feeling just fine’ said a beaming Chaya. The doctor had just given her a thumbs up during a health check conducted at The Senior Station. We would like to thank Dr. Manouri Samarakoon who heads Health Scan, a reputed private clinic, for sending in her team to run a general medical check-up for the members of The Senior Station. Members were given a blood pressure and random blood sugar test. They were also assessed for their Body Mass Index. The doctor then spent time with each member individually, pointing out red flags and talking to them about how they could improve their indicators.
Of course all these conversations about health and well-being, also came with our weekly dose of exercises, puzzles, interactive games and loads and loads of cheers!
Whiffs of fragrant incenses beckoned everyone to The Senior Station as we celebrated the festival of Eid. Everybody got on to the floor wishing each other Eid Mubarak! The simple act of reaching out to each other with a smile and handshake immediately brought on a sense of cheer among the members. Nisrin combined some upbeat tunes to her exercise session and we were now all in the mood for a celebration.
We started the Eid special with traditional almond stuffed dates which were made by Dolly and served up on a tray beautifully decorated by her. Then we listened to Mary recount her childhood memories of Eid and how those celebrations have changed over the years.
There were many surprises in store for the members today – First was a song performance by the organisers; and of course Banin had everyone absolutely mesmerised by her sweet voice. The next surprise was a real treat. Masuma offered to do henna designs for the members. All the ladies excitedly approached her while she created exotic patterns on their hands. Indeed, it was all hands on the table while everyone posed for pictures.
Festivals are always accompanied by shopping sprees. So we played a version of ‘The Price Is Right’ today– There were a range of products up for grabs, and anyone who guessed the price right got the product as a prize! Bids flew wildly across the room, along with loud cheers each time somebody got a prize.
Finally it was time for the grand finale. A mouth-watering meal that included popular Eid treats – Biryani, mango curry, acharu, samosas and crunchy jalebis. We all tucked in amid warm conversations and happy jokes. Another memorable day at The Senior Station!
It was time for some Bingo at The Senior Station this week. The game went on to a nail-biting finish, with almost all the numbers drawn, and many a false call for the full house. Eventually Punyakanthie and …… walked away with the two top prizes.
Among our other activities, we also had a sing-a-long this week at The Senior Station. Now that the members are more comfortable with each other, we requested them to individually sing a song of their choice. They confidently took to the floor, and were heartily joined in by their friends. The session started off with Nihal singing ‘……’. He was followed by Swini who sang ‘One Day At A Time’. Soon almost all the members volunteered to sing, including Mary and Husseina who regaled everyone with an old Hindi favourite – ‘Chori Chori.’
We, at The Senior Station, took a pledge to be more environmentally conscious and responsible. We celebrated World Environment Day by making a promise to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle; and to spread that message among our friends and family.
Milundu Tissera of John Keells Holdings is part of the company’s initiative to help reduce the plastic footprint of the country. Milundu made a thought provoking presentation on the hazards of irresponsible use of plastic, and how we could better manage and reduce our waste. The interactive session brought out many interesting observations from our members.
We had several other activities lined up today that was based on the theme which included a quiz that highlighted many startling facts about the environment; and a demonstration in which members learnt how to make carry bags out of newspaper .
Today we also celebrated the birthdays of the month and wish Priyanthie, Asamptha and Nisrin all the very best. We’d also like to thank Sajeda who once again brought cheer to The Senior Station with her energetic exercise routine.
The delicious cake was from The Cake Factory.
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!