In the Buddhist religion, there is an auspicious moment that marks the beginning of residential construction projects. In 2005, a candle like this was placed in baskets at each home site and all were tethered together while monks chanted the prayer while holding the string that connected all the home sites. I don’t completely understand the auspicious moment or ceremony, but the feeling of importance it had with the people of Kalametiya was overwhelming.

As part of the Ball State capASIA study abroad program in 2005, we were able to help start one of the first public, post-tsunami rebuilding project in Sri Lanka. You can also find capASIA alumni on Facebook.